But UK chains lag behind in first half

Hutchison Whampoa has delivered a strong set of first-half results, although its figures were offset by the performance of its UK chains Superdrug and Savers.

The group’s retail sales jumped 12 per cent to HK$51.37 billion (£3.29 billion) for the six months to June 30. It attributed much of the increase to the growth of health and beauty retailers Kruidvat, Watson and Rossman in China and Europe. It stated that its UK health and beauty businesses delivered “lower results”.

EBIT for the retail division climbed 5 per cent to HK$803 million (£51.4 million), with improved results from ParknShop, Fortress and Watson in Hong Kong. Results were also helped by the health and beauty business in Ukraine, which the group bought in November.

Hutchison Whampoa has 7,800 retail outlets in 36 countries.

The group's UK telecommunications arm 3 Mobile reported its customer base was up 3 per cent since December to 4.1 million customers. However, more than 1 million of those customers have not made or recived a call for three months.

Total revenue for the six months to June 30 for the UK and Ireland was down 1 per cent to£812 million.