Smartphone sales, data drive Hutch HK growth

Melissa Chua
telecomasia.net
Hutchison Telecom’s operations in Hong Kong and Macau enjoyed a 37% year-on-year profit increase for the first half of 2011, driven by healthy smartphone sales and higher data revenue.
 
Profit attributable to Hutchison Hong Kong’s shareholders was HK$494 million ($63.3 million), compared to HK$361 million for the same period last year.
 
The firm’s consolidated turnover for the first six months of 2011 totalled HK$6,018 million ($772.1 million), a 41% increase compared to the same period last year, with the rise attributed mainly to growth in the mobile business segment.
 
The firm’s mobile customer base for Hong Kong and Macau numbered 3.35 million end June, and operating profit for the mobile business stood at HK$537 million, up 49% from HK$361 million in 2010. Mobile postpaid ARPU had also grown to HK$238 million from HK$214 million, while data service revenue alone saw a 30% growth.
 
Hutchison Telecommunications’ mobile business saw a 61% year-on-year revenue hike to HK$4.55 billion, driven by increased smartphone sales. A corresponding increase in handset costs had also contributed to a 67% increase in operating costs for the mobile segment.
 
The company’s fixed line business saw profit decline to HK$198 million from HK$226 million last year. The firm said the profit decline could be attributed to investment and acquisition in both corporate and residential sectors. Operating costs had increased 4% to HK$1.13 billion.
 
Fixed line revenue saw a slight increase to HK$1.65 billion from HK$1.63 billion with growth tempered by competition in the sector.
 
CEO Peter Wong said the company would continue to cater to accelerating demand for bandwidth. The firm plans to refarm 2G spectrum, and acquired spectrum in the 900Mhz band to meet demand for data.

Sister company the 3 Group, which offers 3G services in Australia and Europe, reported a 47% rise in net profit to HK$20 billion earlier this year.

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