Leading Hong Kong developer Cheung Kong (Holdings) (0001) saw its net profit for 2012 fall by nearly 30% due to no repeat of a one-off gain that was recorded for the year before.
For the year to 31 December 2012, profit attributable to shareholders fell 30 percent year on year to HK$32.15 billion, beating market estimates of about 40 to 50 percent drop.
The company attributed the drop to the one-off gain recorded in the 2011 results arising from the disposal of part of the interest in the ports business of subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa (0013).
If this one-off gain is excluded, then net profit would show an increase of 12 percent.
Turnover dropped 27 percent to HK$31.1 billion with the segment of property sales plunging 49 percent to HK$14.61 billion mainly due to fewer project completions in 2012.
The share of property sales of jointly controlled entities increased by 26.8 percent to HK$11.91 billion but this still failed to arrest the overall slide in turnover.
The company’s share of results from its associate company Hutchison Whampoa totalled HK$13.96 billion, having increased 21 percent year on year.
Company chairman Li Ka-shing who is Hong Kong’s richest man expected the property market in Hong Kong to remain stable in 2013.
He said people with the adequate financial resources should buy property for own use.
“But if it is to speculate on property, then don’t do it,” Li said.
He supported the government’s measures to cool property prices which have risen dramatically over the past year due to the continuing low interest rate environment and heavy demand for property from mainland investors.
“Prices cannot keep going up as many people would not be able to buy and that would be unhealthy,” Li said.
Net profit at conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, 49.97 percent owned by Cheung Kong, fell by half in 2012.
For the year to 31 December, profit attributable to shareholders plunged 53 percent year on year to HK$26.13 billion.
However recurring net profit before adding for property revaluation and profits on disposal of investments rose 19 percent to HK$26.82 billion.
Total revenue for 2012 edged up four percent to HK$398.39 billion.
The company has businesses ranging from ports, property, retail and infrastructure through to energy and telecommunications.
By turnover segment, retail operations continued to account for the biggest chunk of turnover with revenue of HK$148.63 billion while revenue from Husky Energy came in second with revenue of HK$59.22 billion.
Its European telecommunications business 3 Group Europe contributed HK$58.71 billion in revenue.