Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- China Gas Holdings Ltd., a supplier of piped gas on the mainland, posted a fourfold gain in first- half profit as demand from residential and industrial users rose.
Net income reached HK$374 million ($48 million), or 8.02 Hong Kong cents a share, in the six months ended Sept. 30, compared with HK$93 million, or 2.3 cents, a year earlier, China Gas said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today.
China Gas said Nov. 22 it expected a “significant” increase in first-half profit because of improved operations at its natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas units. The utility, which operates 151 city piped-gas projects, aims to benefit from demand in Asia’s biggest economy for the less polluting fuel.
Household natural-gas connections rose 36 percent during the period, while industrial connections gained 57 percent, according to the statement.
Natural-gas sales jumped 40 percent in the first half to HK$3.4 billion, boosting total revenue by 21 percent to HK$7.9 billion, China Gas said.
The utility also operates 112 compressed natural gas filling stations for vehicles and 44 liquefied petroleum gas distribution projects.
The shares fell 4.3 percent to close at HK$2.65 today, before the earnings announcement. The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 1.2 percent.
China Gas has slumped 22 percent this year after former Managing Director Liu Ming Hui and Executive President Huang Yong were detained by Shenzhen police in December for suspected “embezzlement of the assets of an organization in which they have duties.”
The company removed the two men from its board in April and said operations were unaffected by the management changes.
The gas supplier said Nov. 14 that an independent investor is keen to buy a “substantial stake” in the company. China Gas, which didn’t identify the potential investor, said it has held no negotiations or reached any agreement.
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