HKT, the core telecoms unit of Hong Kong’s PCCW, has reported that a steady performance in its fixed network business and continued growth in mobile operations led to an overall 3% EBITDA improvement in full-year 2013 to HKD7.901 billion (USD1.018 billion), on consolidated annual revenue which climbed to HKD22.832 billion, up 8% from HKD21.081 billion. Fixed and mobile combined CAPEX for the year ended 31 December 2013 was HKD2.025 billon, up from 2012’s investment of HKD1.945 billion, as major outlays were focused on network expansion and enhancements to meet demand for high speed fibre broadband services, advanced mobile services and international networks. Yearly net profit increased by 53% to HKD2.460 billion.
HKT’s fixed network division revenue for the year increased by 9% to HKD19.975 billion and EBITDA increased by 2% to HKD7.264 billion; EBITDA margin eased from 39% in 2012 to 36% the following year as a result of a shift in the revenue mix in relation to the relatively lower margin in HKT’s global voice business. Local telephony revenue rose to HKD3.434 billion for the twelve-month period, up from HKD3,401 billion a year earlier, reflecting an improvement in fixed line ARPU as a result of the continued take-up of its ‘eye’ converged multimedia home fixed line service. Total fixed lines in service at the end of December 2013 remained stable at 2.651 million. Broadband access/local data network revenue increased by 7% to HKD6.460 billion in the year (excluding IPTV revenue reported elsewhere by PCCW), partly driven by the adoption of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services, with a total of 419,000 FTTH subscribers at 31 December, a year-on-year increase of 38%, HKT reported.
Mobile business continued to exhibit growth albeit slower, with a 7% increase in total revenue to HKD2.647 billion in 2013, despite a slowdown in the second half attributed to a lack of availability of certain popular handsets. Total mobile subscribers edged up slightly to 1.654 million at the end of December 2013, and ARPU was lifted by 2% to HKD210 from HKD206 a year ago. Cost efficiency of HKT’s integrated fixed-mobile network was a factor credited with helping a 16% increase in mobile EBITDA to HKD851 million in 2013 from HKD736 million the previous year, with the margin improving to 32% from 30%.