Hutchison Whampoa expects solid net income growth

21 Mar 2006

Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa is expected to post a net profit of HKD12.37 billion (USD1.59 billion) for the full year 2005, based on average estimates of analysts polled by Dow Jones. Although the forecast has been complicated by a change in accounting practices, the estimated figure represents a solid improvement in returns driven by one-off gains and stronger contributions from its ports and energy operations, despite its international 3G mobile business remaining unprofitable. Hutchison, which has invested around USD25 billion in launching its 3G ventures, is likely to narrow its 2005 pre-tax loss to around HKD35 billion, after exceptionals, from HKD37.5 billion in 2004. 3G losses will be partly offset by a first-half property revaluation gain of HKD4.5 billion, plus exceptional gains of HKD23 billion. These included Hutchison’s sale of a 19.3% stake in Hutchison Telecommunications International to Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Holding, and the disposal of stakes in two ports to Singapore’s PSA International. Other one-offs included non-cash accounting gains from a buyout of Hutchison Global Communications, and a repurchase of 100% of its UK 3G mobile unit at a price lower than the original sale.

Hong Kong, CK Hutchison