(CNN) -- Profits for Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa slumped 42 percent in 2008, according to a financial statement released Thursday.
Tycoon Li Ka-shing, head of Hutchison Whampoa, at a press conference in Hong Kong Thursday
The company's net profit fell from $30.6 billion Hong Kong ($3.9 billion U.S.) in 2007 to $17.7 billion Hong Kong ($2.3 billion U.S.) for the past year.
"In 2009, the group is facing the most challenging environment in recent times, with growth slowing in most markets and many of the world's major economies in recession," said Li Ka-shing, who is chairman of Hutchison Whampoa and No. 11 on Forbes' list of the world's billionaires.
"In the current global economic environment, the group is focused on maintaining strict operational and financial discipline to successfully execute its business strategy. The group's cash position remains healthy," he said.
Hutchison Whampoa is a Fortune 500 company that operates in 55 countries, with five core businesses: port operations; property development and hotels; retail; energy, infrastructure, investments and others; and telecommunications.
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