Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa, controlled by the city's richest man Li Ka-shing, on Thursday said its half-year profit soared more than six-fold, largely driven by an asset sale.
The ports-to-telecoms conglomerate said it booked a net profit of HK$46.29 billion ($5.93 billion) in the first half of 2011, a whopping 632 percent rise over the HK$6.32 billion profit it earned during the same period last year.
Hutchison's revenue increased by a more modest 26 percent to HK$187.35 billion during the same period, it said.
The firm's results included a gain of HK$44.3 billion from spinning off a ports unit in Singapore earlier this year.
Excluding the sale of Hutchison Port Holdings, its parent said its net profit would have risen 44 percent over last year to HK$9.11 billion.
Hutchison announced its results after markets closed in the southern Chinese financial hub with its shares down 0.87 percent to HK$90.35 apiece.
i's flagship property firm, Cheung Kong Holdings, also benefited from its interest in Hutchison, reporting a 169 percent profit rise to HK$33.26 billion during the first-half of the year, it said.
Revenue during the same period rose 28 percent to HK$26.1 billion, compared with HK$20.31 billion a year earlier, Cheung Kong said.
Its shares closed 0.08 percent lower on Thursday at HK$119.6 each.
The octogenarian tycoon, a household name in the city of seven million, said he was cautious about government measures to tame Hong Kong's soaring property prices, which have sparked widespread anger in the financial hub.
"Nevertheless, the market outlook is positive for the long term, supported by Hong Kong's strong economic fundamentals, favourable labour market conditions and continuing inflation," Li said in a statement Thursday.
Li, nicknamed "Superman" for his long-running business success, later told a press briefing that he was concerned about the high-profile debt problems in the US and eurozone.
"The global economy is worrying," he told reporters.
"In Europe, many countries face debt problems. In the US, unemployment is still a problem for them and that affects the world. We are cautiously optimistic," Li added.
This week, Li's Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings said it would buy one of Britain's biggest water utilities in a deal worth nearly $4 billion -- the largest deal by a Hong Kong entity in the country.
The deal to buy Northumbrian Water was slated to close later this year.
The 83-year-old Li was ranked in March as the 11th wealthiest person in the world by the Forbes rich list, with a net worth estimated at $26 billion.