First half losses narrow at Hutchison’s 3 Group

21 Aug 2008

Hutchison Whampoa’s 3G mobile division 3 Group has reported its financial and operational results for the six months ending 30 June 2008, with a 14% increase in revenue to HKD32.094 billion (USD4.109 billion) compared to HKD28.191 billion in the first half of 2007. Reported half yearly EBITDA rose by 153% year-on-year from HKD4.150 billion to HKD10.495 billion, whilst EBIT loss (LBIT) narrowed by 72% from HKD11.324 billion to HKD3.175 billion. 3 Group’s management continues to target positive monthly EBIT on a sustainable basis in the second half of 2008 and positive EBIT in full-year 2009.

3 Group’s registered 3G mobile customer base increased by 7% during the period under review, and currently stands at over 19 million customers, according to its parent’s earnings release. Contract customers as a percentage of the registered base increased to 51% at 30 June 2008 (compared to 47% at the end of 2007). Active customers at mid-2008 represented 77% of 3 Group’s total registered customer base, compared to 79% at the end of last year, with 98% of registered post-paid subscribers active (unchanged in six months). Average revenue per (active) user (ARPU) on a twelve-month trailing basis declined by 7% compared to the full year of 2007. Non-voice revenue as a percentage of total ARPU, on a twelve-month trailing basis, was 30% in 1H08, in line with full-year 2007. The company said that more than 1.5 million of its customers now have mobile broadband internet access.

According to Hutchison, the combined registered customer base of 3 UK and 3 Ireland increased 10% during the first half to total over 4.7 million at 30 June 2008, whilst 3 Italia’s registered customer base totalled 8.2 million at mid-year (up from around 8.1 million at the beginning of the year) and ‘currently stands at over 8.4 million’. In Australia, the active customer base of Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (HTAL) grew 15% during the first six months to total 1.80 million at end-June. Registered customers of the combined operations in Sweden and Denmark (Hi3G Access) grew 14% during the period to total 1.026 million in June, whilst in Austria, the figure increased by 9% to reach 561,000.

Conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa’s total 1H 2008 group revenue grew 25% year-on-year to HKD176.219 billion, including a HKD11.76 billion contribution (up 22% year-on-year) from the continuing operations of Hutchison Telecommunications International (HTIL), which previously reported its financial and operational results separately.

Hong Kong, CK Hutchison