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China Everbright sees 16% rise in Q1 profit to HK$206.4m

CHINA Everbright Water reported on Wednesday a 16 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit to HK$206.4 million (S$36 million), from HK$178.1 million for the year ago period.

Earnings per share was HK$0.077 versus HK$0.068 in the prior year. The water treatment company's shares were up 8.45 per cent, or S$0.03, at S$0.385 as at 1.58pm.

No dividend was declared, the same as for fiscal 2018.

Revenue for the three months to end-March rose 26 per cent to HK$1.31 billion from HK$1.04 billion a year ago. The increase was mainly attributable to the increase of HK$205.3 million in construction revenue, HK$49.5 million in operation revenue and HK$17.6 million in finance income.

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Direct costs and operating expenses increased by 31 per cent to HK$887 million, from HK$679.5 million mainly due to increase in construction cost arising from increased construction services.

Currently, there is less than two years left before reaching a 2020 deadline set by the Chinese government to achieve various goals related to water environment management areas such as black-odor water body treatment and urban waste water treatment, said the company.

“Given the continued pressure from the economic downward trend and tightened industry regulations, the environmental protection enterprises will still face challenges," said An Xuesong, executive director and CEO of Everbright Water. 

He added that enterprises which are capable of seizing opportunities arising from this round of industry integration and adjustments will gain more advantageous positions for development.