HONG KONG, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa Ltd , Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s ports-to-telecoms conglomerate, reported a 20 percent increase in 2013 net profit, lifted by its Austria telecoms unit and strong growth in its retail business.
Hutchison’s full-year net profit totaled HK$31.11 billion ($4.01 billion), up from a revised HK$25.9 billion a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.
The company, with businesses spanning commercial properties in Hong Kong and China to telecommunications in Europe and energy in Canada, was forecast to report a net profit of HK$29.92 billion for 2013, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The group is continuing to assess its strategic options to maximize the value and growth potential of its retail division, Hutchison said in the statement.
Hutchison said last year it was conducting a strategic review of A.S. Watson Co Ltd, a retail division that could drive the expansion of a health and beauty business in China. That review may include an initial public offering of all or parts of the business, the company said.
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($1 = 7.7601 Hong Kong dollars)
Reporting By Alice Woodhouse; Editing by Matt Driskill