CKI Nets High Annual Cash Yield of About 11% from
Investment in Australia-based Envestra
23 April, 2003 -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong - In its 2002 annual results announcement made earlier, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited ("CKI") unveiled the theme of "Six Consecutive Years of Sustained Growth". The theme has not only highlighted the overall performance of the Group over the past few years and the company's views on its future prospects but has also reflected the performance of individual investments in CKI's portfolio. One such example is Envestra Limited ("Envestra"), an Australian company that CKI has invested in since 1999.
CKI is the largest shareholder of Envestra holding approximately a 19% stake. Total investment amounts to HK$560 million (A$118 million). Envestra earlier declared a final distribution payment of HK$0.18 (A$0.038) per share. Together with the interim distribution payment of HK$0.27 (A$0.057) per share, annual distribution payment for 2002/2003 amounted to HK$0.45 (A$0.095). This contributed approximately HK$60 million (A$12.8 million) to CKI in cash income, representing an annual investment yield of about 11%. In addition, Envestra paid distributions of HK$0.43 (A$0.09), HK$0.44 (A$0.0925) and HK$0.45 (A$0.095) in the past three consecutive financial years since 1999/2000. This delivered high cash returns of 10.2%, 10.5% and 10.8% to CKI in the respective years.
Mr HL Kam , Group Managing Director of CKI, said," Envestra enjoys the advantages of a typical utilities company - low risk and stable returns. The company has not only provided us with strong cash return of over 10% annual yield four years in a row but also recorded organic growth annually even in the midst of uncertain economic conditions. The company is a quality infrastructure investment; a successful example and future benchmark of CKI's investment."
Mr Kam added," As the largest listed natural gas distributor in Australia, Envestra delivers gas to almost 900,000 customers in the country, accounting for about 30% of Australia's total natural gas consumption. In addition to investing in Envestra, which is a nationwide listed company, CKI also partnered with its subsidiary Hongkong Electric to make acquisitions in major provincial energy infrastructure businesses in Australia, including ETSA Utilities, the sole electricity distributor in South Australia; and Powercor and CitiPower, distributors in Victoria."
"There are many similarities between Australia and Hong Kong. Both adopt English as the legal language, base its legal system on Common Law and have similar operating environment for regulated industries. Australia is undoubtedly the ideal place for CKI's investments. In fact, the Australian investments contributed 19% of the Group's profit in 2002. Taking into account the Sydney Cross City Tunnel, CKI's first transportation infrastructure project in the country, CKI has become one of the major international investors in Australia, with total investments amounting HK$17 billion," Mr Kam continued.
"Coming up, CKI will leverage on its solid foundation built over the years to identify premium infrastructure investment opportunities in Australia and other countries around the world to maintain sustained growth momentum in the years ahead," Mr Kam concluded.
CKI is the largest publicly listed infrastructure company in Hong Kong with investment in Hongkong Electric, infrastructure investments, infrastructure materials and infrastructure-related businesses. The Company has operations in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Australia, Canada and the Philippines.