Hutchison Telecommunications' (HTX) first half results show operating profit more than doubled and the company recorded ts first profit attributable to equity holders of the company.

Commenting on the results, Dennis Lui, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Telecom said: "I am delighted to report record results for the first half of 2006, which includes a profit for the period of HK$644 million. This confirms that the strategies we implemented in 2005 have successfully resulted in sustained growth and improved performance during the period. Together with our stringent cost policies, aggressive network expansion plans and commitment to leading-edge customer service, we are driving profit improvements which position us to achieve our targets for 2006."

The increase in turnover was driven primarily by the growth in India, which contributed 45% of the Group's turnover of HK$15,666 million. EBITDA increased 61% to HK$4,759 million, while the EBITDA margin improved to 30.4% compared to 27.9% in the corresponding period in 2005.

Operating profit for the period more than doubled to HK$2,302 million. This impressive performance was a result of greater contributions from the Group's operations in India and Israel, the return to profitability for the mobile operation in Hong Kong and the reduction of loss from the operation in Thailand.

Profit for the period was HK$644 million compared to a loss of HK$220 million last year.

Customer growth in the first half was in line with expectations and the company expects that to continue in the second half. Its network expansion is continuing at a rapid pace, particularly in India. The company says it maintains their outlook of capital expenditure of HK$13.5 billion to HK$14.5 billion for the full year although there may be some lag in booking capital expenditure that may result in some of the planned capital expenditure flowing over into 2007.

The company achieved a small profit attributable to equity holders in the first half of 2006. The extent to which this is sustained in the second half of 2006 will depend on the timing of the launch of operations in Indonesia and Vietnam, both of which are scheduled for the second half of 2006.


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