SmarTone warns of further price-cutting

SmarTone warns of further price-cutting

Robert Clark  |   March 04, 2010
telecomasia.net
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Hong Kong SmarTone doubled its income in the second half of 2009, but warned of the effects of further price competition and handset subsidies.
 
The third largest Hong Kong mobile operator announced a 112% rise in profit despite a 7% drop in sales.
 
The HK$111 million ($14.3m) profit was bolstered by HK$23 million in accelerated
depreciation and deferred income tax credit. Excluding those two items, net profit was up 69% to $88 million.
 
Data service revenue increased 23% year-on-year thanks to demand for mobile broadband and accounted for a third of service revenue.
 
Chairman Raymond Kwok said that the business environment for the second half of the financial year would be challenging.
 
“Competition in the local market could result in further lowering of tariffs and more aggressive handset subsidies,” he warned.
 
He said roaming revenue had improved but was likely to remain below the pre-financial crisis levels.
 
SmarTone’s blended ARPU improved in the second half to HK$214 – up from HK$210 in the previous six months, but below the HK$230 ARPU of a year earlier.
 
Customer numbers increased by 8% to 1,231,000 in the year to December 31.
Robert Clark

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