Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, or HPHT, reported Wednesday its second quarter net profit fell 19.7 percent on-year to HK$136.5 million (S$23.83 million or US$17.47 million) amid a hit from the ongoing U.S.-China trade war.
Outbound cargoes to the U.S. were weak in the second quarter, the trust said, adding it expected it would be volatile in the second half of the year as the U.S. trade dispute continues.
Revenue and other income for the quarter ended 30 June fell 1.4 percent on-year to HK$2.74 billion, the trust said in a filing to SGX.
The distribution was 6.00 Hong Kong cents a unit for the first half, down from 8.52 Hong Kong cents in the year-ago period, the filing said.
The combined container throughput of HPHT Kwai Tsing fell 4.4 percent on-year, mainly on lower intra-Asia cargos, the trust said.
Partly offsetting the decline, container throughput at YICT, or Yantian International Container Terminals at Yantian, Shenzhen, rose by 4.9 percent on-year, mainly on growth in empty and transshipment cargoes, offset by a decrease in U.S. cargoes the filing said.
“Average revenue per TEU for Hong Kong was below last year, mainly attributed to the increased transshipment mix and less than last year agency fee provision write-back following the finalisation of tariff negotiation,” the trust said. “For China, the average revenue per TEU was below last year largely due to renminbi depreciation.”
TEU stands for twenty-foot equivalent unit, which measures a ship’s cargo-carrying capacity.
HPHT pointed to a “challenging” global environment.
“Trade tensions between U.S. and China have heightened in recent months with new tit-for-tat tariffs imposed in the second quarter of 2019,” the trust said. “Trade protectionism, macro-economic and political uncertainties, including the slowing Chinese and EU economies
and the yet-to-be-resolved Brexit from the EU, threaten the recovery of global trade.”
HPHT Kwai Tsing includes HIT, Cosco-HIT and ACT at Kwai Tsing, Hong Kong. HIT is terminals 4, 6 and 7 and two berths in terminal 9; Cosco-HIT is terminal 8 east; and ACT is terminal 8 west.
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