3 Group grows user base 4% in 2015; Indonesia drives Hutchison’s Asian growth

18 Mar 2016

Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison reports that its European 3 Group division’s total registered mobile customer base in the UK, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Ireland grew by 4% during full-year 2015 to around 30.6 million at 31 December, while the reported active base across the six European markets also grew 4% to over 26.1 million. 3 Group’s average ARPU excluding device spending increased by 5% to EUR18.14 (USD20.44) compared to 2014, ‘primarily due to a focus on upselling and improved customer propositions across the majority of the operations’, partly offset by keen competition in Denmark and the dilutive effect of the higher proportion of non-contract customers in Ireland after the acquisition of O2 Ireland. 3 Group’s contract smartphone customers acquired in 2015 represented around 44% of the total contract customers acquired during the year (2014: 41%). Total data usage across 3 Group increased 57% year-on-year to approximately 950 petabytes in 2015. Data usage per active 3 Group customer was approximately 38.1 gigabytes per user in 2015 compared to 25.4 gigabytes per user in 2014.

3 Group’s EBITDA rose 12% in reported currency to HKD17.396 billion (USD2.242 billion) in FY 2015, up from HKD15.598 billion in 2014, although in terms of local currencies EBITDA climbed 27%. Total revenue at 3 Group fell 4% in reported currency to HKD62.799 billion in 2015, compared to HKD65.623 billion in FY14, but climbed 10% year-on-year in local currency terms. Service revenues (excluding device and other revenue) fell 4% to HKD47.713 billion from HKD49.480 billion, whilst handset/device revenue dropped 12% to HKD12.696 billion, from HKD14.372 billion.

CK Hutchison’s domestic fixed and mobile telecoms division Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH) announced 2015 turnover of HKD22.042 billion and net profit attributable to shareholders of HKD915 million, an increase of 35% and 10% respectively over the previous year. HTHKH’s pro forma 2015 EBITDA of HKD2.891 billion and comparable operating profit (EBIT) of HKD1.448 billion were 4% and 5% higher than 2014 respectively, primarily driven by growth in the mobile business.

Hutchison Asia Telecommunications (HAT) – operating mobile services in Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka – reported positive EBITDA of HKD1.176 billion in 2015, a turnaround from EBITDA losses of HKD278 million in 2014 mainly due to charges of HKD1.1 billion relating to inappropriate dealer credit and commissioning practices in the Indonesian operation in 2014. In Indonesia, the active customer base at the end of 2015 increased 48% year-on-year to approximately 63.6 million users, representing 87% of HAT’s total customer base, according to CK Hutchison’s figures (local reporting may differ).