Hutchison Telecommunications International announces 2007 results

18 Mar 2008

Hutchison Telecommunications International (HTIL), majority owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa (HWL), has announced results for the twelve months ended 31 December 2007. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, HTIL’s previous year results included its former Indian unit, Hutchison Essar, sold to Vodafone in February 2007. Excluding Essar, HTIL’s revenue increased 13.8% to HKD20.4 billion (USD2.6 billion) from HKD17.9 billion reported in 2006. EBITDA is reported as HKD5.2 billion whilst EBITDA margin dropped to 25.7% from 28.9% in 2006. HTIL reports that excluding the losses made by its start-up operations in Indonesia and Vietnam, EBITDA margin would have been 29.4%. Net profit soared to HKD67.7 billion compared to HKD1.57 billion in 2006 due to development of its emerging units since Essar’s departure.

HTIL’s mobile customer base rose 57% to almost ten million, of which an estimated 1.77 million were 3G subscriptions. Operationally, its strongest unit is Israeli Partner Communications, which reported 7.2% subscriber growth to 2.8 million, of which 633,000 were 3G. EBITDA rose 18.4% to HKD3.7 billion, whilst revenue increased 18.9% to HKD11 billion. Mobile operations in Hong Kong and Macau reported a 13.5% growth in subscribers to 2.4 million of which almost half (1.14 million) were 3G customers. Driven by the increase of 3G users, revenue increased 13.7% to HKD4.7 billion that year. Sri Lanka reported the fastest wireless subscriber growth of 104% to reach the one million mark for the first time at the end of the year. Hong Kong fixed line revenue rose 11.8% to HKD2.4 billion, whilst EBITDA increased 3.4% to HKD900 million. However, operations in Vietnam reported LBITDA of HKD228 million, compared to LBITDA of HKD44 million for 2006. The losses announced were reportedly due to the ongoing conversion of Vietnam’s CDMA-based network to GSM-based.

The report also indicates that preparations were made in January 2008 to sell HTIL’s 100% stake in Ghana based Kasapa Telecom, but that any agreement is pending regulatory approval.