Hutchison Telecommunications (HTX) has announced record profit of HK$1.576 billion for the full year ended December 31, 2006.
Turnover increased by 37% in 2006 to HK$33,378 million, driven by a 75% increase in the Group's customer base, which stood at just under 30 million at the end of 2006. Profit before taxation from continuing operations increased 278% to HK$2,402 million despite increased interest charges resulting from higher levels of debt incurred to finance increased investment and several acquisitions that were completed during the year.
Dennis Lui, CEO of Hutchison Telecom said, "2006 was a year of tremendous achievement for Hutchison Telecom. The work we began in 2005 formed the base for our excellent results, including record profits and our first annual profit attributable to shareholders."
Combined turnover from the Group's fixed and mobile businesses in Hong Kong and Macau was HK$6.605 billion in 2006. By the end of 2006, the mobile customer base in Hong Kong and Macau stood at 2.1 million, an increase of 9% compared with 2005. The Group's Hong Kong mobile business continues to report growth in its 3G customer base which is now over 800,000. The market for fixed line services in Hong Kong showed improvement in 2006 as some of the wholesale and retail prices began to firm against a backdrop of continued volume growth.
Hutchison Telecom expects to complete the sale of its interests in India in the second quarter of 2007 which will leave the Group well capitalized and able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. The Group plans to invest in aggregate HK$3 billion to HK$4 billion in Indonesia and up to HK$1 billion in Vietnam during 2007. The balance of the investment is planned for the 3G network in Israel and maintenance expenditure across the rest of our businesses.