Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited (HTIL) has announced a record net profit of HKD1.576 billion (USD202 million) for the full year ended 31 December 2006, assisted by particularly strong contributions from Indian and Israeli mobile units, a return to net mobile operating profit in Hong Kong and the first positive EBITDA in Thailand. The Hong Kong-based group’s turnover increased by 37% year-on-year to HKD33.378 billion, driven by a 75% increase in its total customer base, which stood at just under 30 million at the end of December. Annual earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 56% to HKD10.077 billion and the EBITDA margin increased to 30.2%, compared to 26.5% in 2005. Regional increases in EBITDA were partly offset by losses from start-up operations in Vietnam and Indonesia. On 12 February 2007 HTIL announced the proposed sale of its 67% interest in cellco Hutchison Essar Limited in India to the UK’s Vodafone Group for a consideration of USD11.08 billion.
HTIL’s Indian mobile customer base surged to approximately 23.3 million in 2006, a year-on-year increase of 104%, whilst turnover rose 55% to HKD15.455 billion and EBITDA climbed 51% to HKD4.9 billion. Annual combined turnover from the group’s fixed and mobile businesses in Hong Kong and Macau was HKD6.605 billion, with EBITDA of HKD2.223 billion (an EBITDA margin of 33.7%). The Hong Kong and Macau mobile subscriber base reached 2.1 million by the end of the year (including around 800,000 3G users), an increase of 9% compared with 2005, whilst mobile EBITDA rose 75% to HKD1.349 billion on revenues that increased 9% to HKD4.199 billion. Hong Kong fixed line EBITDA stood at HKD874 million in 2006 compared with HKD696 million in 2005, on turnover that increased 9% year-on-year to HKD2.406 billion, driven primarily by data services and residential broadband services. In Israel, Partner Communications’ mobile customers reached 2.7 million by the end of 2006, up by 139,000 in twelve months, as yearly turnover climbed 12% to HKD9.796 billion and EBITDA increased by 18% to HKD3.179 billion. Meanwhile, mobile CDMA subscribers at Thai joint venture Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia stood at 728,000 at end-2006, down slightly from 732,000 a year earlier, although it achieved its first net EBITDA profit of HKD57 million on sales of HKD1.017 billion.