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Pacific Century FY18 net profit slides 42.7%

PACIFIC Century Regional Developments, owned by Hong Kong magnate Li Ka-shing's son Richard Li, saw full-year net profit in 2018 slump as the share of profit from associated companies diminished.

Net profit for the full year ended Dec 31 was S$49.96 million, down 42.7 per cent from a year ago. The group attributed it largely to a lower share of profit from associated companies - it stood at S$36.5 million, down 55.7 per cent. 

Particularly, the group's share of profit from its major investment, Hong Kong-listed associate PCCW, dropped to S$35.1 million from S$82 million in 2017. The difference was mainly due to the inclusion of the group's share of a one-off gain, amounting to approximately S$44 million, from the disposal of PCCW's non-core wireless broadband business in the UK in 2017.

Revenue gained 6.6 per cent to S$15.62 million, largely due to higher dividends from the company's investment in HKT, Hong Kong's largest telecoms company.

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Earnings per share was 1.885 Singapore cents for FY18, down from 3.292 Singapore cents previously. 

The group has proposed a final dividend of 2.4 Singapore cents and a special dividend of 6.3 Singapore cents, taking the total payout for the year to 8.7 Singapore cents. 

Pacific Century noted that the global economic environment will present challenges this year and reiterated that its results are substantially dependent on the results of PCCW and HKT.

"In 2019, PCCW's core businesses of media entertainment, IT solutions and telecommunications are expected to safeguard their market-leading positions in Hong Kong while seeking growth through the development of new business streams and expansion into new markets," the group said.

On the other hand, HKT will "continue to innovate to serve customers' needs for a smarter home, smarter lifestyle and smarter business operations".

Shares of Pacific Century closed at S$0.385 on Friday, up 2.67 per cent or S$0.01, before results were announced.