Hong Kong cellular operator SmarTone has released its financial and operational results for its full fiscal year ended 30 June 2010. Total revenue increased by 7% to HKD3.957 billion (USD509 million), driven by 6% growth in service revenue and a 13% increase in handset and accessory sales. EBITDA increased by 33% to HKD1.182 billion and net profit attributable to equity holders at HKD294 million was seven times last year’s figure. Total customer numbers increased by 13% year-on-year to 1.318 million at end-June 2010, against a competitive backdrop of lower tariffs, aggressive promotional offers and ever higher handset subsidies. Data service revenue increased significantly – by 38% year-on-year – and accounted for 36% of service revenue in the twelve-month period. Outbound roaming revenue recovered from the lows in the second half of FY2008/09 and has now returned to the levels before the financial crisis began in 2008. SmarTone is increasingly signing up users of fixed home phones and PCs with connectivity over its wireless network, and the cheap-rate service has affected its blended monthly ARPU, which decreased by 2% over the previous year to HKD216; in its release the company said this masked a steady increase in mobile ARPU in the past two and a half years. Underlying its emphasis on data, SmarTone also added in its announcement: ‘The upgrade to all-IP fibre infrastructure was completed during the year, providing for timely and efficient expansion of backhaul capacity as bandwidth demand increases. Our HSPA+ network is 28.8Mbps ready everywhere and the upgrade to 42Mbps will be completed by the end of 2010. Customer experience on smartphones, mobile broadband and wireless fixed broadband will continue to improve.’ Handset subsidy amortisation rose by 10% to HKD284 million (2008/09: HKD259 million) due to the significant increase in handset subsidy capitalised for the acquisition and retention of high-value customers, amid the growing adoption of high-end smartphones.