India and Israel boost HTIL

9 Mar 2006

Hutchison Telecom International (HTIL) – with wireless and wireline operations in Hong Kong, as well as wireless subsidiaries in India, Israel, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Ghana – has reported that group revenue for 2005 rose 61.4% to HKD24.4 billion (USD3.1 billion), up from HKD14.8 billion a year earlier. The sharp rise is partly attributable to the consolidation for the first time of Israeli cellco Partner, adding an additional HKD6.6 billion in turnover. Excluding this effect, underlying sales growth was an impressive 19.5%, driven by an upsurge in HTIL’s wireless subscriber base of 39% to 16 million at the end of 2005. Particularly strong growth from the group’s Indian operations in 2005 has continued into 2006; the overall subscriber base now stands at over 20 million with India contributing roughly three-quarters. While EBITDA for the group more than doubled to HKD6.5 billion and operating profit broke through the HKD2 billion barrier for the first time, net income actually fell, principally as a result of the sale of CTI Móvil in Paraguay to América Móvil in May 2005. While no exact figures were released, CEO Dennis Lui revealed his company’s intention to ‘invest substantially’ in 2006, particularly in key market India and new markets Vietnam and Indonesia, where the company plans to launch later this year.