HPH Trust posts full year profit of $366 million, 12 per cent below projection

Hutchison Port Holdings Trust has posted a 5.8 per cent rise in net profit to HK$643.6 million (S$103 million) in the fourth quarter.

Revenue for the three months to Dec 31 was up a marginal 1.9 per cent at HK$3.15 billion.

This lifted the business trust's full year net profit by 16.1 per cent to HK$2.29 billion (S$366.1 million) on the back of a 27.6 per cent rise in revenue to HK$12.43 billion.

The full year net profit was 11.6 per cent or HK$300.9 million below initial projection.

The average revenue per container box for Hong Kong was lower than the previous year due to a higher proportion of transshipment throughput handled, whereas that for China was favourable due to fewer concessions granted to some shipping lines.

Full year earnings per share climbed to 26.28 HK cents from 22.62 HK cents.

Looking ahead, the trust manager noted that shipping lines are increasingly deploying more mega-vessels, entering into more vessel sharing agreements, adopting slow steaming and consolidating traffic at larger ports as part of their strategy to achieve economies of scale and reduce costs.

"All of these measures are expected to benefit HPH Trust's ports given their superior infrastructure, natural deep water channels, long contiguous berths and scale of operations."

A cash distribution of 27.19 HK cents a unit for unitholders for the six months to Dec 31, up from 23.4 HK cents previously.

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