July 22 (Reuters) – Takeover target AXA Asia Pacific Holding’s (AXA.AX) Hong Kong business is very profitable with sales growing by 20 percent in the first half, its chief executive said on Thursday.
“We will show in a couple of weeks, the business is very profitable,” Chief Executive Andrew Penn said, referring to the company’s first half earnings announcement on August 4.
“Growth is accelerating in Hong Kong,” he said to a question on whether Hong Kong was dragging the companies earnings.
The wealth manager disappointed the market on Wednesday, flagging first-half operating earnings that were about 8 percent below analysts’ forecasts. Analysts said the shortfall appeared to be due to slowing growth in its Asian operations.
AXA Asia Pacific, a unit of France’s AXA SA (AXAF.PA), is the target of an $11.5 billion takeover offer from National Australia Bank (NAB.AX), which was extended last week to give NAB time to address concerns raised by Australia’s competition watchdog. (Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Balazs Koranyi)