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Company News

CK Hutchison, CK Asset profits slump in H1

HONG KONG, Aug 6 (Reuters) - CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd , the ports-to-telecoms arm of retired billionaire Li Ka-shing, posted a 29% fall in first-half net profit on Thursday, hurt by a collapse in crude oil prices and slumping global trade and retail demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Profit during the period was HK$13 billion ($1.7 billion), compared with HK$18.3 billion a year earlier, after accounting adjustments.

Its Canadian oil and gas producing arm Husky Energy Inc posted a third consecutive loss in the March-June quarter last week, compared with a year-earlier profit. It resulted in a HK$6.1 billion decline in contributions to the group in the first half, CK Hutchison said.

Chairman Victor Li said in a statement he expected the energy business will remain under pressure for the rest of 2020 and it will be “challenging” for its ports and retail businesses to achieve profitability similar to a year ago.

Infrastructure and telecommunication divisions, however, are relatively sheltered as they are considered essential and critical services, he added.

Sister company CK Asset, a major property developer in Hong Kong which also has interests in aircraft leasing, infrastructure and utility assets overseas, said its underlying profit in the first half dropped 36% to HK$8.4 billion, dragged by a drop in hotel income.

Commenting on the Hong Kong property market, CK Asset expected it to remain largely resilient over the longer term once the impact of the pandemic has receded, adding housing policies will be the determining factors, without further elaboration.

Two other Hong Kong landlords gave a downbeat outlook last week for commercial property in the Asian financial hub, saying they expect the pandemic and local factors to continue to weigh on consumer spending and business for the rest of the year.

Shares of CK Hutchison ended down 0.7% on Thursday ahead of the results, while CK Asset dropped 1.1%. The Hang Seng Index eased 0.7%. ($1 = 7.7502 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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