CK Hutchison posts higher-than-expected annual profit

HONG KONG, March 16 (Reuters) - CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd on Friday reported a 6 percent rise in annual profit, and said billionaire Li Ka-shing would step down as chairman of the ports-to-telecoms conglomerate after the annual general meeting.

The 89-year-old Li will, as expected, stay on as senior adviser to the group. His eldest son Victor Li, named successor five years ago, will take over the reins of the business.

The conglomerate reported a 6 percent rise in 2017 profit to HK$35.1 billion ($4.48 billion), slightly higher than the average forecast of HK$34.63 billion from 12 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. ($1 = 7.8432 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting by Venus Wu and Donny Kwok; Editing by James Pomfret and Himani Sarkar)