CLP's first-half profit jumps 22pc on year to HK$4.8 billion
Shares of CLP Holdings gained 1.2 per cent to HK$65.45 yesterday after it posted a 22.4 per cent rise in first-half net profit and said it would need to increase prices by less than previously expected next year to meet the cost of new emission caps.
The sole power supplier to Kowloon, the New Territories and Lantau booked HK$4.77 billion for the six months to June 30, compared with HK$3.9 billion for the same period last year.
A HK$2 billion one-off gain from the acquisition of stakes in two operating subsidiaries took total earnings growth to 78 per cent.
Revenue dropped 8.9 per cent year on year to HK$47.1 billion, dragged down by its operations in Australia, where output slumped 11.4 per cent and retail sales volume fell 12.6 per cent due to weak demand, capacity oversupply and keen retail rivalry.
CLP's Hong Kong business, protected by a guaranteed return regime on asset value, posted a 7.5 per cent rise in profit to HK$3.67 billion as fixed-asset values rose. First-half power sales gained 2.7 per cent year on year.
CLP Power Hong Kong vice-chairwoman Betty Yuen So Siu-mai said sharp falls in coal prices and the start of other measures meant the firm was confident it would need to raise power price next year by less than the 11.8 per cent it had projected earlier in order to meet tougher emission caps in Hong Kong.
The measures include importing more nuclear power and enhancing the efficiency of its coal-fired plants.
In Australia, CLP booked a profit of HK$585 million in the first half, compared with a loss of HK$45 million in the same period last year, helped by a HK$214 million fall in depreciation and amortisation costs after it booked a HK$3.1 billion asset write-down last year to reflect a poor market.
Chief executive Richard Lancaster said the repeal of the carbon tax in Australia meant it would no longer book government financial assistance, which amounted to HK$583 million in the first half of this year, but also meant better returns for plants with lower operating costs.
Profit from the mainland fell 21 per cent year on year to HK$662 million due to the yuan's lower value and sale of minority stakes in some coal-fired plants.
Profit from India was HK$82 million, after a loss of HK$212 million in the first half of last year.