Hong Kong conglomerate Cheung Kong Hutchison reported a 13 per cent rise in first-half profit, handing tycoon Victor Li Tzar-kuoi a solid start to his tenure as chairman after he officially took over from his father Li Ka-shing.
Net profit at the company, the flagship of the business empire and which has operations spanning infrastructure, telecommunications, retailing, ports and energy worldwide, was HK$18.02 billion (US$2.32 billion) for the first six months of the year, up from HK$15.92 billion in the same period a year earlier, and 3 per cent ahead of the HK$17.5 billion estimated by three analysts.
Favourable exchange rates helped the company, as most of its profits are earned abroad.
The younger Li took over in May after his father, who had built the business from nothing almost seven decades ago and who is Hong Kong’s richest man, stepped down at the age of 89. In his first chairman’s statement, Victor Li warned of uncertain times ahead.
“Volatility in currency, commodity and financial markets is expected to continue in the second half, as trade tensions are unlikely to ease off in the short term,” he said in the statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange.