3 Group’s EBITDA up 15%

26 Mar 2013

Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa’s European division 3 Group has reported that its registered 3G mobile customer base increased by 9% during 2012 to reach 23.519 million at the end of the year. 3 Group reported total revenue of HKD58.708 billion (USD7.563 billion) in the twelve months ended 31 December 2012, a 3% increase over the previous year, while EBITDA and EBIT grew by 15% and 101% to HKD9.213 billion and HKD3.145 billion respectively. The company said that the significant improvement in 3 Group’s underlying operating results reflects success in gaining ‘leading positions’ in the smartphone and mobile data segments, which are continuing to drive increased demand for data services at ‘unprecedented’ rates. Despite Europe being affected by continued economic and financial uncertainties, Hutchison stated that 3 Group ‘has built up strong fundamentals and maintained its good growth momentum during the year. All 3 Group Europe operations seek to further increase market share in the smartphone and data segment, which is expected to be one of the key growth drivers in 2013. Commercially, the operations remain focused on the acquisition of high margin customers and also the upsell of the existing customer base to higher margin service offerings.’

Highlights included 3 UK’s customer base climbing 11% to 9.052 million, 3 Sweden’s subscriber base growing 13% to 1.553 million, 3 Denmark’s customers rising 9% to 854,000 and 3 Austria’s base increasing to 1.711 million, up 27% year-on-year. In January 2013, 3 Austria completed its acquisition of a 100% interest in Orange Austria and a subsequent onward sale of the Yesss! brand and certain other assets to Telekom Austria Group. The combined operations will generate incremental revenues that, together with operational synergies and efficiencies, are expected to result in substantial increases in 3 Austria’s contribution in 2013.

Hutchison Whampoa’s Hutchison Asia Telecommunications (HAT) subsidiary reported a customer base of over 40.3 million at 31 December 2012, spread across Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka. HAT earned total annual revenue of HKD4.452 billion, EBITDA of HKD423 million and operating loss (LBIT) of HKD846 million, an improvement of 91%, 398% and 28% respectively compared to 2011.