Everbright first-half earnings soar 94.6pc

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 September, 2007, 12:00am

New environmental protection projects lift net

China Everbright International, a Beijing-backed investment firm focused on the environmental protection business, said first-half profit almost doubled as more projects started operations.

Net profit jumped to HK$167.55 million, up 94.63 per cent from a restated HK$86.09 million a year earlier. Turnover increased 43.22 per cent to HK$519.69 million.

The company declared an interim dividend of 0.6 HK cent per share.

Turnover from the environmental protection business jumped 47 per cent to HK$468.8 million, accounting for 90 per cent of total turnover.

The red-chip conglomerate operates and is building more than a dozen environmental protection projects, mainly sewage treatment plants and waste-fuelled power plants, in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces.

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation from the environmental protection business jumped 162 per cent to HK$146.58 million as more sewage and waste was processed.

During the period, Everbright International, through its waste-fuelled power plant and methane-to-energy project, both in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, processed 210,000 tonnes of waste and sold 55.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. The two projects were still under construction in the first half of last year.

Through its three sewage treatment plants in Shandong province it also processed 130 million tonnes of waste water, representing a 118 per cent growth from the same period last year.

Chief executive Chen Xiaoping said growth momentum from the environmental protection business would be maintained as more projects came on stream later this year and next.

Meanwhile, Mr Chen said the planned restructuring of Everbright International's state-owned, finance-focused parent, China Everbright Group, would not affect the company's business direction.

'We'll still focus on the environmental protection business and management is confident that the restructuring of its parent will only bring advantages to us,' Mr Chen said, without elaborating.

Everbright Group is said to be preparing to split into two groups - one focused on the financial business and one on the industrial sector. New chairman Tang Shuangning said this week that the State Council had approved the restructuring plan but declined to give details or a timetable.

Shares in Everbright International closed up 4.14 per cent at HK$3.27 yesterday after reporting the interim earnings.