March 19, 2020 / 10:25 AM / 14 days ago

CK Hutchison 2019 profit rises 2%, CK Asset up; both match forecasts

HONG KONG, March 19 (Reuters) - CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd posted a 2% rise in full-year profit on Thursday, as steady growth in telecommunications and retail and stable earnings from ports and infrastructure helped offset energy and currency headwinds.

Profit for 2019 at the company previously controlled by retired billionaire Li Ka-shing climbed to HK$39.8 billion ($5.1 billion) from HK$39 billion a year earlier, after accounting adjustments.

That matched a forecast of HK$39.2 billion profit from Refinitiv SmartEstimate.

Total revenue fell 3% to HK$439.9 billion. It declared a final dividend of HK$2.3 per share, same as a year ago. The total dividend amounted to HK$3.17 per share.

CK Hutchison’s chairman Victor Li, Li Ka-shing’s son, said in January that he was cautiously optimistic about the situation in Hong Kong in 2020.

Protests escalated in Hong Kong in June last year with people angry about China’s increasing interference in the former British colony, which was returned to Beijing’s control in 1997. The Chinese-ruled city has been relatively calm this year as it grapples to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Last month, CK Hutchison’s Canadian oil and gas producing arm Husky Energy Inc posted a Q4 loss compared to year-earlier profit, hit by C$2.3 billion in charges mainly related to its oil sands assets in North America.

Sister company CK Asset, a major property developer in Hong Kong, said its 2019 underlying profit rose 19% to HK$28.7 billion.

The underlying profit compared to a forecast of HK$28.4 billion from Refinitiv SmartEstimate.

CK Asset, which also has interests in aircraft leasing, infrastructure and utility assets, said total revenue increased 63.6% to HK$82.4 billion.

Shares of CK Hutchison ended down 8.7% on Thursday ahead of the results, while CK Asset dropped 7.4%. The Hang Seng Index was down 2.6%.

$1 = 7.7618 Hong Kong dollars Reporting by Donny Kwok and Clare Jim; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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