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Hutchison Port Holdings Trust Q1 net profit down 33.4%

HUTCHISON Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust)'s bottom line fell 33.4 per cent to HK$96.9 million (S$16.8 million) for the first quarter ended March 31.

The group posted an earnings per unit of 1.11 HK cents, down from 1.67 HK cents. Revenue came in at HK$2.7 billion, inching up 0.3 per cent.

Combined container throughput of its Kwai Tsing terminals in Hong Kong decreased 9.6 per cent mainly due to a fall in transshipment charges. But the container throughput of its terminals in Yantian, Shenzhen rose 4.6 per cent, driven by growth in the empty and transshipment cargoes.

Average revenue per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) for Hong Kong came in higher compared to last year, mainly due to the increased barge-to-vessel transshipment mix, decreased empty mix and the write-back of agency fee provision following the finalisation of tariff negotiation. For China, it was lower compared with a year ago largely due to the depreciation of the yuan.

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Other operating income was HK$9.5 million, 85.8 per cent lower largely due to the deferral of 2017 dividend income from River Ports Economic Benefits to the first quarter of 2018 and lower exchange gain arising on revaluation of the Yantian, Shenzhen terminals' net yuan-denominated monetary assets.

Interest and other finance costs rose 19.8 per cent to HK$274 million, largely attributed to higher Hibor/Libor (Hong Kong interbank offered rate/London interbank offered rate) applied on the bank loans' interest rates.

Taxation rose 22.8 per cent to HK$107 million mainly due to the increase of tax rates upon the expiries of the "High and New Technology Enterprise" status of YICT (Yantian International Container Terminals) Phase I & II and the tax exemption period for YICT's West Port Phase II berth #4 at the end of 2018, partially offset by lower profit.

The counter last closed at 32.5 Singapore cents on Thursday.