Hutch returns to profit on better business in India, Israel

18 Aug 2006

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecommunications returned to profit in the first half of this year, boosted by an improvement in its businesses in India and Israel.
Net profit for the six months ended June was HK$2 million ($257,100), a turnaround from a net loss of HK$370 million ($47.6 million) in the first half last year.
Hutchison Telecom, a unit of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa, said its first half revenue rose to HK$15.67 billion ($2.01 billion), from HK$10.59 billion ($1.36 billion).
The company attributed the improvement in its profitability in the first half to strong performance in the Indian and Israeli markets.
The company's Indian operation, Hutchison Essar, was the largest revenue contributor. It reported a first-half revenue rise of 51% to HK$7.09 billion ($1 billion), while its subscribers doubled to 17.5 million.
In Israel, Hutchison's Partner Communications had a 5% rise before taxes to HK$1.51 billion ($148 million), on a 'healthy increase' in its customer base and average minutes of use.
'Customer growth in the first half was in line with our expectations and, provided there is no slowing of the momentum in India, we expect that to continue in the second half,' Hutchison Telecom said in a statement.
The company's business in the second half will depend largely on the timing of operation launches in Indonesia and Vietnam, both of which are scheduled for the second half of 2006, the company said.

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