3 Group’s EBITDA rises 4% despite flat sales in HKD terms

3 Aug 2012

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 Group, which offers 3G mobile services in six European countries, has posted consolidated revenues of HKD27.99 billion (USD3.61 billion) for the first six months of 2012, down by 0.3% year-on-year in reported currency, although in local currencies the collective ‘3’ subsidiaries achieved an overall 6% increase in revenues. Only 3 Denmark saw a revenue decrease (11%) in the six months ended 30 June 2012, while local currency sales increases were posted by the group’s mobile units in the UK (5%), Italy (6%), Sweden (12%), Austria (9%) and Ireland (17%). EBITDA across the European group climbed 4% y-o-y to HKD4.10 billion in January-June 2012, with 3 Italia the star performer, reporting a 28% EBITDA rise, followed by the UK and Ireland with respective EBITDA increases of 16% and 12% in the six-month period. Improvements in profitability in both Italy and the UK were helped by 3 benefitting from the effects of lower wholesale termination rates to connect off-net calls. In Scandinavian markets it was a different story however, with EBITDA drops recorded by 3 Sweden (14%, partly influenced by recent costs related to its 4G rollout) and 3 Denmark (7%). Total mobile subscribers across the 3 Group’s six markets climbed by 3% since the start of the year to 22.23 million at end-June 2012, comprised of 11.983 million post-paid (up 8% in six months) and 10.247 million pre-paid customers (down 3%). 3 Group average blended monthly ARPU (expressed in euro and excluding foreign exchange effects) as of June 2012 was EUR23.70 (USD29.0), down by 2% since December 2011, of which non-voice services accounted for 46%.