It’s not been the best of weeks for Asian business magnet Li Ka-shing, whose flagship companies Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa both reported mixed results, but a number of other family businesses, including Toyota, have fared better.
At Cheung Kong, six-month revenues were 32% lower at HK$17.72 billion (€1.85 billion), compared to HK$26.1 billion during the same period last year. The company, controlled by Li and his family, blamed a slower-than-expected Chinese housing market.
It was also affected by Hutchison Whampoa’s results – Cheung Kong is a major shareholder in the listed holding company, and Li and his son Victor both serve on its board.
Hutchison Whampoa’s first-half profits dropped 78% to HK$10.21 billion, compared to the same period in 2011 when it reported profits of HK$46.3 billion, predominantly linked to a one-off gain. This was the listing of Hutchison’s deep-water port assets in Hong Kong and China through a business trust.
Excluding “property reevaluation gains and profits on disposal of investments”, profits were up 13% at Hutchison Whampoa, while revenues rose by 6% to HK$194.99 billion, the company said on 2 August.
In Japan, Toyota appeared to be on the road to recovery following a tough 2011, when demand and supply chains were affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Revenues for the first quarter to 30 June jumped 59.9% to 5.5 tillion yen (€56.78 billion) on the same period in 2011. Operating income at the carmaker, controlled by the Toyoda family, increased from a loss of 108 billion yen to 353.1 billion yen, while net income was 290.3 billion yen from 1.1 billion yen the year before.
Senior managing officer Takahiko Ijichi said: "In all regions, vehicle sales increased significantly due to strong recovery of demand, which had suffered last year from the lack of supply caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake.”
In Canada, food company Maple Leaf, chaired by family member Michael McCain, said on 1 August that its second-quarter sales increased slightly to Can$1.26 billion (€1.02 billion), from Can$1.24 billion in 2011. However, adjusted operating profit fell to Can$71.9 million compared to Can$77.5 million lastyear.
In a statement, McCain said: “Our business fundamentals are strong and we will take action to manage ongoing cost increases."