Shares of Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (1038) soared after it said earnings and dividends for last year hit a record high.
Net profit of the infrastructure firm rose 22percent from 2011 to HK$9.4 billion, or HK$3.93 per share last year, driven mainly by its British business.
This is the highest earnings recorded since CKI listed in 1996.
A full-year dividend of HK$1.66 per share - comprising HK$1.26 of the final dividend and 40 HK cents of the interim - rose 8.5percent from 2011, representing the 16th straight year of growth.
Operating profit expanded by 17.5 percent to HK$10 billion last year from 2011, out of which 54percent was derived from its British operations including Power Networks and Northumbrian Water.
But its Australia, Canada and New Zealand portfolios saw double-digit declines in earnings.
Profit contribution from Power Assets - in which CKI holds a 38.87 percent stake - amounted to HK$3.76 billion in 2012, up 7percent from a year back.
CKI remains capitally strong as net debt to net capital ratio were reduced to 5percent as of December, from 12 percent a year earlier.
"Looking ahead, we will continue to adhere to our three-pronged strategy to deliver growth to our shareholders," chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi said.
The strategy refers to its existing organic growth, acquisitions with stable returns and solid balance sheet.
The company's shares gained 1.75 percent to HK$52.25 yesterday. GRACE CAO