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HPH Trust sees Q2 profit down 14% to $85m

HPH Trust sees Q2 profit down 14% to $85m
Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust) the unit trust under which Hutchison's South China Ports are grouped saw its results affected by the generally poor sentiment in the sector as second quarter profit slid 14% to HKD342.7m ($84.6m) while revenue fell 6% to HKD2.94bn.

HPH Trust blamed the poor results on falling container throughput at its terminals as the container throughput of HIT decreased by 10.4% year-on-year to primarily due to weaker intra-Asia and transshipment cargoes.

The container throughput of YICT meanwhile fell more moderately by 1% primarily due to weaker transshipment cargoes but this was partially offset by the growth in EU and empty boxes.

The group managed to raise the average revenue per teu for Hong Kong through a tariff increment. For China however, the average revenue per teu was flat mainly due to tariff increments being offset by RMB depreciation, HPH Trust said.

For the first half revenue also fell 6% to HKD5.69bn from HKD6.08bn previously as volumes fell 11.3% and 1.1% at HIT and YICT respectively.

Although first half profit rose 31% to HKD897.6m, this was mainly due to a rent and rate refund at HIT in the first quarter and additional depreciation due to the change of an accounting estimate in 2015,

Looking ahead HPH Trust said: “Given the soft global trade outlook, management remains cautious on the expected cargo volume for 2016 and will continue to focus on improvements to tariffs and costs."

It is however confident that it will respond promptly and effectively to any challenges, given the group's strong fundamentals.