September 1, 2018 / 6:39 AM / 22 days ago

HNA Group trims debt nearly 11 percent, or $11.6 billion, in first half

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s HNA Group HNAIRC.UL reduced its debt load in the first half of 2018 as the company sold off assets acquired under a high-profile acquisition spree helmed by its former chairman, according to the company’s latest financial report.

A HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

HNA Group’s total debt stood at 657.41 billion yuan ($96.25 billion) at the end of the first half, down 10.7 percent or $11.6 billion from the end of 2017.

Despite the reduction, the group’s total debt to EBITDA was 21.36 times at the end of the first half.

The company reported a first-half net profit of 1.3 billion yuan.

HNA’s push to sell off assets, under pressure from Beijing, follows a $50 billion spree led by former co-chairman Wang Jian that saw HNA accumulate assets ranging from a stake in Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) to high-profile overseas properties.

Wang died during a business trip in France on July 3.

In early August, HNA Group announced a management reshuffle, in a move to calm worries about leadership at the conglomerate.

($1 = 6.8300 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill

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