It is an honour to be appointed the Chairman of CITIC Limited. CITIC is a company that has been at the forefront of China’s development. From modest beginnings four decades ago, CITIC has grown into one of the largest conglomerates in the country today.
I feel privileged for the opportunity to join CITIC and to build upon the leadership of my predecessor, Mr Chang Zhenming, and those who came before him. Under his stewardship, CITIC has solidified itself into a formidable, unique and increasingly international platform operating both financial and non-financial businesses, many of which are leaders in their fields. I look forward to carrying his mantle as we continue to generate value for you.
CITIC has consistently focused on solidifying its businesses. In 2019, the company registered a profit attributable to ordinary shareholders of HK$53.9 billion, up 7%. Excluding the Renminbi to HK Dollar conversion effect, profit from operations grew 12% year-on-year. The financial services segment delivered strong performance, while the growth of our non-financial segment was largely the result of the contribution from Sino Iron, a considerable profit rise in the special steel business and profit from the sale of a 58% stake in CITIC Dicastal. At the end of December 2019, CITIC Limited had approximately HK$30 billion in cash and available facilities.
The board recommends a final dividend payment of HK$0.285 per share, giving shareholders a total dividend of HK$0.465 per share for the year, 13% more than in 2018.
Beijing, 31 March 2020