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CKI soars as British units drive record earnings

Friday, March 08, 2013

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.

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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


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