HTIL sales and subscribers up, profits down

4 Aug 2005

Hutchison Telecommunications International (HTIL) has reported sales of HKD10.8 billion (USD1.4 billion) for the first half of 2005, up 56% on the corresponding period last year. The increase was fuelled by surging customer growth of 30% in the last twelve months, taking the group’s worldwide customer base to 14.1 million. HTIL has operations in India (contributing 44% of overall revenue), Hong Kong (30%), Israel (20%), Thailand (5%), Ghana, Sri Lanka and Macau (all less than 1%), and has plans to launch wireless services in Indonesia and Vietnam. Despite the revenue hike, net income for the six months dropped from a profit of HKD886 million in 2004 to a loss of HKD211 million. The company attributed the fall to the loss made on the sale of its Paraguayan mobile unit to América Móvil, increased spending relating to the consolidation of Israeli cellco Partner Communications and higher taxes and accounting charges. Also, last year’s profits were boosted by a one-off gain on the sale of shares in Hong Kong fixed line operator Hutchison Global Communications. The company remains bullish for the second half of the year, saying it expects double digit revenue growth and that it will increase capital expenditure as it deploys network infrastructure in Indonesia and Vietnam.