Telecom & Wireless

Hutchison Telecom Says Business Looking Better Over Past Quarter

Hutchison Telecommunications announced its unaudited key performance indicators for the quarter ended March 31, 2008 and said consolidated profit attributable to equity holders of the company was HK$310 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of HK$236 million for the same period last year.

Dennis Lui, CEO of Hutchison Telecom said in a press statement, "We are pleased to present a set of healthy operational parameters in the first quarter despite it being a traditionally slower period. Our focus to achieve growth in Indonesia continued to show results while our strategy to win share in growth segments in Hong Kong and Israel is reinforcing our leading positions and so further setting us apart from competition."

In established markets the Group's operations reported sustained healthy growth in its customer base with most of the net additions from the 3G segment. In Hong Kong, the 3G customer base increased to 1,145,000 at the end of the first quarter representing a 6.1% quarterly growth. In Israel our operations also saw a strong growth in its 3G customer base of 19% in the quarter to 753,000.

The Group's emerging market operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka continued to provide momentum in customer acquisition in the first quarter where the base grew 14.3% to 2.3 million in Indonesia and 13% to 1.3 million in Sri Lanka. Excluding Ghana and Vietnam, the Group's total customer base was over 10 million at the end of the quarter. This represents a 6.2% quarterly growth. The growth in Indonesia and Sri Lanka was mainly fuelled by continued network expansion in both markets.

During the quarter, increased level of promotional activities in Indonesia hindered othe company's average revenue per user improvement, which dropped slightly from IDR15,000 to IDR14,000. Operations in Sri Lanka also experienced attrition in ARPU due to the unfavorable economic situation.

Hong Kong operations' ARPU was affected by seasonal factors particularly fewer business days in the first quarter, which led to a drop in minutes of use. This drove postpaid ARPU down to HK$208.

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