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Property and Beverage Sectors Helped Lift Swire Pacific H1 Profits

Swire Pacific's China Coca-Cola business and property sectors profits offset airline loss - as the company reports first-half net profit up 140% to HKD12.14 billion from a year earlier. Its first-half underlying profit rose 9% to HKD3.88billion, the company said. Group revenue in the six months ended June totalled HKD40.21 billion, up 34% year on year.

Swire Pacific, 55% owned by London's John Swire & Sons, said it expanded its Coca-Cola bottling operations in mainland China, a move the company said would help it offset losses from its aviation and maritime businesses.

The Hong Kong listed company now owns a beverage business that provides for 11 Chinese provinces after acquiring more Coca-Cola bottling assets from the U.S. soda producer and a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned food conglomerate Cofco earlier this year.

The company's beverage business sales volume in the first-half rose 26% on the year. Attributable profit from the unit, excluding one-off gains, rose 8% to HKD362million.

Cathay Pacific Airways, a 45%-subsidiary of Swire Pacific, posted its worst first-half loss in nearly two decades. The Hong Kong-based airline blamed intense competition, the hefty costs of fuel hedging for its HKD2.05 billion losses in the six months ended June, compared with HKD353 million first half profit a year earlier.

Swire Properties saw interim net profit jump 177% to HKD14.76 billion in the first half, compared to HKD5.334 billion the previous year. Core interim net profit - excluding revaluation of properties - rose 30%, the company said.

- APMR News

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