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Weak market sinks HPH Trust's Q2 net profit by 14.3% to HK$342.7m

HONG Kong-based port operator Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPHT) took a hit from weaker trade within Asia in the three months ended June 30.

Net profit at HPHT for the period thus slumped 14.3 per cent year-on-year to reach HK$342.7 million (S$60 million).

"The container throughput of HIT (Hongkong International Terminals) decreased by 10.4 per cent as compared to the same quarter in 2015, primarily due to weaker intra-Asia and transshipment cargoes," said HPHT in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Wednesday after market closed.

Revenue for Q2 fell at a slower clip. This was at HK$2.9 billion, a 6.1 per cent fall from the previous year.

Earnings per unit attributable to shareholders thus slid to 3.93 Hong Kong cents, 0.66 Hong Kong cent lower than the same period in the previous year.

Interim distribution per unit is 14 Hong Kong cents, down from 15.70 Hong Kong cents last year.

Though Q2 performance was hit by slower trade, a sizeable government refund for Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) helped buoy its financials for the first half of this year.

Net profit for H1 increased by 30.9 per cent to reach HK$897.6 million even though revenue dipped 6.4 per cent to reach HK$5.7 billion.

HPHT flagged choppy waters in the months ahead, exacerbated by the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union, termed as "Brexit".

"Management remains cautious on the volume outlook for the remainder of the year given the soft global trade outlook and the expected negative consequences of Britain's exit from the European Union and will continue to focus on improvements to tariffs and costs," it said.