2G network closure increases Hutch Australia revenues and losses

23 Aug 2006

Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) saw its net loss widen from AUD365.9 million (USD280.2 million) in the first half of 2005 to AUD524.7 million in the first six months of this year, on the back of increased investments in its 3G W-CDMA infrastructure and an AUD299 million one-off charge related to the closure of its 2G CDMA network on 9 August. Revenues in the six months ended 30 June 2006 rose 65.1% to AUD360.1 million, driven by increased handset sales, higher data usage and a large number of users migrating to higher revenue services; EBITDA stood at AUD1.3 million, reversing losses incurred in the previous two half years. Hutch ended June with 1.044 million subscribers to its 81% owned 3G provider Hutchison 3G Australia (H3G), including 284,000 customers that upgraded from its 2G service; the rise in W-CDMA users saw non-voice ARPU leap AUD3 year-on-year, up to AUD19 in the period.