HPHT posts 14.3% drop in Q2 net profit

SINGAPORE - Softer trade within Asia and lower volumes weighed on Hutchison Port Holdings Trust's (HPHT) second-quarter earnings.

The Hong Kong-based container port business trust on Wednesday posted an attributable net profit of HK$342.7 million (S$60 million) for the three months to June 30, down 14.3 per cent from HK$399.9 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 6.1 per cent to HK$2.94 billion as container throughput for its assets at Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) sank 10.4 per cent on the back of "weaker intra-Asia and transshipment cargoes", said the trust's manager.

In addition, container throughput of its assets in Yantian International Container Terminals in China shrank one per cent due to weaker transshipment cargoes, though partially offset by the growth in the European Union and empty cargoes.

Net profit for the half year jumped 30.9 per cent to HK$897.6 million - boosted largely by a HK$430 million government rents and rates refund for HIT during the first quarter - although revenue slipped 6.4 per cent to HK$5.69 billion.

Earnings per unit for the quarter fell to 3.93 HK cents from 4.59 HK cents, while net asset value per unit stood at HK$4.80 as at June 30, down from the HK$4.89 as at Dec 31 last year.

The manager declared an interim distribution per unit of 14 Hong Kong cents, down from the 15.7 Hong Kong cents last year.

HPHT units closed one cent or 1.55 per cent higher at 65.5 HK cents on Wednesday, before the results were announced.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg