Hong Kong's Hutchison Telecommunications (HTX) announced its results for the first six months of 2008, saying it had a total turnover up 22.0% compared with the same period last year.
Operating profit increased to HKD2.28 billion for the first six months of 2008 after one-off gains of HKD1.46 billion. These arose principally from the Indonesian operations which recognized a HKD731 million gain from the first tranche of tower sale and HKD732 million of compensation from a network supplier. Excluding the one-off gains and some accelerated depreciation charges in Israel and Vietnam, like for like growth in operating profit was 35.0%. As a result profit attributable to equity holders of the company from continuing operations surged to HKD1.17 billion compared with HKD57 million in the first half of 2007.
On July 25, 2008 the group completed the acquisition of a 5% stake in its 2G and 3G businesses in Hong Kong and Macau from NEC Corporation taking the group's ownership in these businesses from 70.9% to 75.9%. This move reflects the group's confidence in the long term value and potential of the Hong Kong and Macau operations. The group's 3G market leader position in Hong Kong brought it the unique opportunity to be the first operator to launch Apple's iPhone 3G in Hong Kong.
The group's mobile customer base grew 68% in the past 12 months to 11.1 million, with a significant percentage of the increase comes from Indonesia. Hutchison Telecom continued to register a healthy growth of 3G customers in Israel, Hong Kong and Macau. The total number of 3G customers for the group had passed two million by the end of June 2008.