Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Main Companies Post Higher Profits

(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Li Ka-shing’s main companies reported higher earnings last year, helped by gains from European telecommunications operations and rising real-estate demand in Hong Kong. But earnings were upstaged by the announcement of Li’s resignation as chairman.

Specifically:

Flagship CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., which operates businesses ranging from retail to ports and utilities across more than 50 countries, said profit rose 6.3 percent to HK$35.1 billion last year. That beat the average analyst estimate of about HK$34.2 billion.
CK Asset Holdings Ltd. said underlying profit increased 13 percent to HK$20.3 billion amid hot demand for property in Hong Kong. That compares with the average analyst estimate of HK$20.3 billion. 
CK Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. reported net income climbed 6.4 percent to HK$10.3 billion, though earnings missed analyst estimates.
Power Assets Holdings Ltd. reported earnings grew 30 percent last year and beat estimates. It also announced its third special dividend since 2017 after resisting demands for years to return more cash back to shareholders.

Though profits chugged along, the 89-year-old tycoon’s retirement raises questions about how the business will change after his son Victor Li takes over. In terms of finances, recent gains in the value of pound and euro may help bolster earnings but they also highlight how vulnerable the Li empire is to geopolitical swings in the U.K. and Europe that may affect their respective economies and currencies.

Shares of CK Hutchison and CK Asset, both of which reported after the market close, ended the day little changed in Hong Kong on Friday. Power Assets rose 3.3 percent, while CKI climbed 0.5 percent.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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