Business Hong Kong

Li Ka-shing’s CK Hutchison says 2016 profit up 6 percent, above forecast

CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, the ports-to-telecoms arm of billionaire businessman Li Ka-shing, said on Wednesday net profit rose 6 percent in 2016, helped by stable earnings from its infrastructure, telecommunications and retail units.

Li, known as Superman for his deal-making savvy, has rapidly increased the pace of overseas acquisitions in recent years, with Britain high on his shopping list.

li ka shing

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing smiles at he attends a news conference announcing CK Hutchison Holdings company results in Hong Kong, China March 17, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip.

January-December profit reached HK$33.01 billion ($4.25 billion), slightly higher than the HK$32 billion average of 11 estimates from analysts polled by Reuters. It posted profit of HK$31.17 billion in 2015.

Total revenue fell 6 percent to HK$372.69 billion.

CK Hutchison has significant investments in Britain and also the European Union (EU). In February, it agreed to buy PCCW Ltd’s British broadband internet business for 300 million pounds.

In September, it won EU approval to merge its Italian mobile unit with that of VimpelCom Ltd , after pledging to help French maverick Iliad SA enter the Italian market.

Also on Wednesday, Li’s Cheung Kong Property Holdings Ltd reported a 16 percent rise in 2016 full-year core profit due to a solid performance across the group’s property businesses.

Hong Kong property prices hit a record high in January despite government attempts to cool the market.

Li, speaking at an earnings press conference after the results were announced, said he did not expect Hong Kong property prices to fall in the next one to two years.

Mainland Chinese developers have been aggressively bidding for land sold in the financial hub, and the buying frenzy is set to drive property prices up even further.

Reporting by Donny Kwok and Venus Wu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman.

Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison says 2016 profit up 6 percent, above forecast