Hutchison Ports Holdings Trust reports 3Q19 net profit fell 3 percent

Port facilities in Hong KongPort facilities in Hong Kong

Hutchison Ports Holdings Trust (HPHT) reported Friday its profit attributable to unitholders, or net profit, fell 2.9 percent on-year to HK$232.5 million (S$40.44 million).

Revenue and other income for the quarter ended 30 September edged up 0.1 percent on-year to HK$3.03 billion, the trust said in a filing to SGX.

“Combined container throughput of HIT, COSCO-HIT and ACT (collectively HPHT Kwai Tsing) was comparable to the same quarter in 2018. The container throughput of YICT decreased by 0.9 percent as compared to the same quarter in 2018, primarily due to the decrease in U.S. cargoes, but partially offset by the increase in empty cargoes,” HPHT said.

“Average revenue per TEU for Hong Kong was below last year, mainly attributed to the increased transshipment mix. For China, the average revenue per TEU was above last year largely due to favorable shipping line mix,” the trust said.

Taxation for the quarter rose 21 percent on-year to HK$154.8 million, mainly on higher profit and higher tax rates on the expiry of “High and New Technology Enterprise” status of YICT Phase I & II and the tax exemption period for YICT’s West Port Phase II berth #4 at end-2018, the filing said.

For the nine-month period, HPHT reported net profit fell 16 percent on-year to HK$465.9 million on revenue and other income of HK$8.45 billion, down 0.4 percent on-year.

The trust did not make a distribution per unit (DPU) for the third quarter as its distributions are on a semi-annual basis, the filing said.

For the nine-month period, the DPU was 6.0 Hong Kong cents, down from 8.52 Hong Kong cents in the year-ago period, the filing said.

HPHT was cautious in its outlook, pointing to sluggish global trade amid intensifying trade tensions and slower manufacturing and business activity.

“Outbound cargoes to the U.S. remained weak and slipped in the third quarter of 2019 amid trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Whilst the bilateral trade talk between the U.S. and China resumed, it is not expected the trade dispute can be fully resolved shortly and will continue to weigh on HPH Trust’s performance,” the trust said.

“Given the uncertainties in the global trade outlook, HPH Trust management remains cautious about future cargo trends and will continue to adhere to cost discipline and efficiency improvements in order to face the challenges ahead,” it added.

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