Hutchison Group (HTX) has announced its unaudited performance indicators for the quarter ended September 30, 2006.
The Group recorded a net addition of 3 million new customers in the quarter, representing a 12.8% quarterly increase, taking the Group's total customer base to approximately 26.5 million.
The Group also reported strong third quarter net profit attributable to equity holders of HK$103 million, taking net profit attributable to equity holders for the nine months ended September 2006 to HK$105 million.
Hutchison Essar, the Group's operation in India, again spearheaded significant customer growth with 2.8 million net additions for the quarter, a 16% improvement for the period. With the total customer base at the end of the quarter reaching 20.4 million, more than double the customer base of a year ago, robust growth momentum is continuing.
The Group's Israeli operation, Partner Communications, reported 41,000 net additions to its customer base, almost doubling growth against the previous quarter. Partner's ARPU rose 3.7% to NIS164, signifying the strength of its quality network, superb customer service, strong brand and leading data and content offerings. This growth is being fuelled by an increasing contribution from data usage and by Partner's ability to continue to grow its customer base with high quality subscribers.
The Hong Kong mobile operations of the Group showed healthy growth across all its operational parameters. Its 3G customer base, associated with premium and stable ARPU, saw 31% growth for the quarter to approximately 666,000. Today this figure has grown further to approximately 690,000, reinforcing the momentum of the high-speed mobile data market in Hong Kong.
Dennis Lui, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Telecom, said: "Hutchison Telecom has delivered another quarter of exceptional growth in its customer bases with significant momentum in the Indian market, particularly the prepaid segment, as well as acquisitions of higher value customers in Hong Kong and Israel. The healthy trend registered in these and other operational parameters helped us to increase net profit to HK$105 million for the first three quarters of 2006. This operational performance looks encouraging for the Group's financial performance in the final quarter and hence the year."
"Solid progress has been made in the advancement of our new service areas but not as fast as we would have hoped. We currently expect to launch commercial operations in Vietnam in the first few months of 2007 and in Indonesia shortly thereafter. We also hope to launch services in new licence areas in India during 2007."