CK Hutchison, CK Asset profits slump in 2020

FILE PHOTO: The company logo of CK Hutchison Holdings is displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong, China March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

HONG KONG (Reuters) - CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, the ports-to-telecoms arm of retired billionaire Li Ka-shing, reported a 27% fall in 2020 net profit on Thursday, weighed down by sharp drops in oil, gas and fuel prices as the coronavirus pandemic smashed demand.

The bottom line also suffered from asset impairments recognised by its Canadian oil and gas producing arm Husky Energy, which it sold late in the year.

Profit last year was HK$29.1 billion ($3.75 billion), compared with HK$39.8 billion a year earlier, after accounting adjustments.

The board recommended a final dividend of HK$1.7 per share, compared to HK$2.3 in the previous year.

Chairman Victor Li said in a statement he expected the group’s debt to net total capital ratio to be further reduced in 2021 from 22.2% in 2020, following the completion of various deals.

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 during the period dropped 32.5% to HK$19.4 billion, dragged by hotel, aircraft leasing and UK’s Greene King pub businesses.

Shares of CK Hutchison ended up 1.4% on Thursday ahead of the results, while CK Asset climbed 2.5%. The Hang Seng Index rose 1.3%.

($1 = 7.7649 Hong Kong dollars)

Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Kim Coghill