CK Life Sciences International (Holdings), the biotechnology flagship of Cheung Kong (Holdings), said interim profit soared 30.9 times because of fair-value changes on some of its financial assets. Net profit for the first half to June was HK$256.5 million, up from HK$8.3 million for the same period last year. The significant increase was mainly helped by a HK$184.4 million gain in fair-value changes on financial instruments during the period, compared with a loss of HK$54.5 million on financial instruments recorded for the first half last year. Excluding non-cash items, profit rose 14.81 per cent to HK$72.1 million from HK$62.8 million previously, thanks to a disposal gain of a unit at its subsidiary. The subsidiary, nutritional supplements producer Vitaquest International, sold its operating assets in a distribution division for HK$157.52 million, allowing CK Life to reap a HK$20.86 million disposal gain. Revenue dropped 16.98 per cent year on year to HK$1.32 billion. The company did not declare an interim dividend. Profit from its environment-related business segment was HK$26.71 million, down 59.99 per cent from HK$66.76 million. Health-related businesses contributed HK$114.83 million in profit, up 31.52 per cent from HK$87.31 million a year earlier. Investment income was HK$206.91 million, compared with an investment loss of HK$50.33 million last year. 'While there have been signs of improvement in the global financial situation during the first half of 2009, a full recovery in the overall business environment may take some time,' said chairman Victor Li Tzar-kuoi. Before the results were announced, CK Life's shares dropped 1.12 per cent to close at 44 HK cents yesterday.