HNA Holdings trims losses in 2016 amid deal spree

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HNA Holdings, the Hong Kong-listed arm of sprawling Chinese conglomerate with roots in aviation, reined in its losses in 2016 as revenues rose amid an ongoing deal spree by its parent that has risen to more than $40bn.

Revenues at HNA Holdings rose 12.7 per cent year-on-year to HK$182.5m ($23.5m) while other income dropped by two-thirds, shaking out to a pre-tax loss of HK$20.9m and total comprehensive expenses of HK$217.6m. That’s down 46 per cent from 2015.

The vast majority of revenue last year – HK$148m, or 81.5 per cent – came from the unit’s Dongguan Hillview golf club and hotel business located northwest of Shenzhen, down from HK$162m in 2015. But income of HK$31.5m from the rental of a commercial building in Canary Wharf, London – acquired by HNA Holdings in July of last year – helped make up for the dip, accounting for 17.3 per cent of revenue.

The December purchase of eight US golf courses in Seattle, Washington added another HK$2.3m in revenue to the total.

Total comprehensive expenses attributable to shareholders came in at HK$152.2m, less than half their level in 2015, making for a loss per share of HK$0.19, compared to a HK$4.28 loss a year earlier.

Parent HNA Group has made a name for itself by defying a crackdown by Chinese regulators on acquisitions abroad with a buying spree over the last two-and-a-half years that has touched both listed and private companies and spanned sectors ranging from tourism and logistics to finance and real estate. The proposed $1bn purchase of logistics provider CWT this month pushed said spree above the $40bn mark.

The group is particularly influential in aviation, with stakes in at least 10 airlines – predominantly in China but also Brazil and South Africa – along with a collection of airports and the world’s third-largest aircraft leasing business.

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