Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa said Tuesday net profit plunged 53 percent in 2012 because of one-off gains the previous year, but income rose on growth in the property sector.
The port-to-telecoms conglomerate said net profit was HK$26.13 billion ($3.37 billion) in the year to December 31, from HK$56.02 billion in 2011.
The 2011 figure was lifted by a huge one-off gain from the sale of port assets.
The group's 2012 total revenue grew 4 percent to HK$398.39 billion, driven by a 16 percent increase in income at its property and hotels divisions.
Li, nicknamed "Superman" for his business prowess, said the group's businesses in over 50 countries achieved "solid performances" and showed "strong resilience" overall despite a weak global economy.
"In 2012, continued economic and financial uncertainty affected markets and geographies in which the group operates to varying degrees," he said in a statement, expressing confidence about prospects for this year.
The ports division saw revenue grow 3.0 percent and there are plans to add new berths in mainland China, Malaysia and Mexico this year.
Li's overseas interests include a 3G telecoms business in Europe and utilities like Britain's Northumbrian Water Group.
"Our business in Europe will remain stable unless there is a major shock to the global economy," he told a news conference.
The 84-year-old tycoon, who is worth $30 billion according to Forbes, has invested heavily abroad in recent years to broaden the group's earnings base outside Hong Kong.
Li said "jealous" reactions to his success back home were also a factor in his overseas investment, in a rare comment hinting at criticism of his dominance over the southern Chinese city.
"Perhaps some people were jealous, or for some reasons they were not very happy," he said.
"So I decided that I will continue to invest in Hong Kong but if there are voices of unhappiness or opposition, then I will invest more overseas."
One in every seven homes in Hong Kong, a city of seven million, was built by Li's firms, which also handle 70 percent of its port traffic.
Critics allege collusion between big developers and the government, which controls land sales. Home prices are among the world's highest and have fuelled public anger.
Li started out in business as a plastic flower-maker but now commands a vast empire through his flagship Cheung Kong Holdings, Hutchison's parent company, with global assets in property, telecoms, utilities, ports and retail.
He added a whopping $8 billion to his wealth in 2012 and retained the spot as Hong Kong's richest man, Forbes said in January.
Cheung Kong meanwhile said its 2012 net profit fell 30 percent to HK$32.15 billion, dragged down partly by the subsidiary's result.
Revenue fell 27 percent to HK$31.11 billion, it said in a separate filing.