i-Cable creeps back into profit, but revenues down 19%

12 Aug 2009

Hong Kong triple-play operator i-Cable has reported that its consolidated revenues fell 19% year-on-year in the six months to 30 June 2009 to HKD862 million (USD111 million), as pay-TV revenues dropped 15% to HKD595 million, largely blamed on dilution from lower-yield subscribers. Operating costs before depreciation were cut by 16% y-o-y to HKD722 million, helping the cableco swing to a marginal net profit in the first half of 2009, with net income of HKD5 million, compared to a net loss of HKD137 million in the previous six months, although down from a net profit of HKD26 million in January-June 2008. Cable modem broadband internet subscribers decreased by 20,000 year-on-year to 260,000 (down 7,000 during the six months), whilst the number of cable voice service users was maintained at 150,000 (down slightly year-on-year from 153,000). The telecoms division (‘Internet and Multimedia’) saw turnover fall by 10% y-o-y to HKD266 million, as operating profit dropped from HKD93 million to HKD81 million (although up from HKD55 million in the preceding six months). Pay-TV subscribers grew by 30,000 in the six-month period to 947,000, but the cable-based service faces tough price competition from PCCW’s ‘Now TV’ IPTV service. First-half CAPEX jumped 84% y-o-y to HKD125 million, with new investments including replacement set-top boxes for a more secure transmission encryption system.

Hong Kong, i-Cable (formerly HKCT)