China Resources Enterprises said yesterday that its 2008 net profit fell by 53% year-on-year because of one-off gains in 2007 and lower revenues from its food processing business due to strong competition in Hong Kong, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company’s net profit for last year reached US$297 million, down from US$639.97 million in 2007. The operating environment for the company, which has been divesting non-core assets to focus on consumer goods, will remain challenging this year because consumer sentiment has been hit by the global economic downturn, Managing Director Chen Lang said in a statement. The company booked a one-time gain of US$309.66 million in 2007 when it sold its petroleum-product wholesale business and 20 gas stations in Hong Kong to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. China Resources operates hypermarkets, superstores, supermarkets and convenience stores in China, mostly in the country’s eastern and central regions, as well as retail stores in Hong Kong. It also produces Snow brand beer in partnership with SAB Miller.