- Jardine Matheson Holdings says mixed trading conditions continued in the third quarter, leading to underlying earnings being little changed from last year.

The group's balance sheet at 30 September remained strong with net debt before financial services at some US$2.5 billion and gearing at 5%, compared with 6% at 30 June 2016.

Of the group's businesses held directly by Jardine Matheson, Jardine Pacific saw increased earnings in some of its operations, but its overall performance was held back by a softer result from engineering and construction.

In Jardine Motors, mainland China continued to perform well, but trading in Hong Kong was soft and the contribution from the United Kingdom was impacted by the weakening of sterling.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson saw its Risk and Insurance businesses deliver a resilient performance in difficult trading conditions, while in Employee Benefits its international operations traded well and progress continues on restructuring its United Kingdom business.

Within the businesses held through Jardine Strategic, the performance of Hongkong Land's Hong Kong office portfolio remained positive, while in the residential sector its key markets in mainland China continued to strengthen although market sentiment in Singapore was subdued.

Dairy Farm achieved sales growth in all divisions against a background of fluctuating demand, and earnings were ahead of last year as higher contributions from its Food and Restaurant operations together with its Yonghui investment offset the slightly lower profits from its Health and Beauty and Home Furnishings divisions.

Mandarin Oriental saw its earnings decline following reduced demand in its key destinations of Hong Kong, London and Paris.

Astra's net income for the period fell, despite higher automotive profits that benefited from new model launches, with reduced contributions from its heavy equipment and mining contracting operations and a significant increase in loan-loss provisions at Permata Bank offset some good performances from its consumer finance businesses.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage's non-Astra interests produced improved earnings.

At 9:38am:

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