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Hutchison Telecom revenue up 16%

Its customer base increased 28% to 12m during the year

By CBR Staff Writer

Hutchison Telecom, the telecoms subsidiary of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, has reported a 97% decline in profit to HKD 1.88 billion ($242m) for fiscal 2008, compared to HKD 67 billion in 2007, on revenue up 16% at HKD 24 billion ($3.1 billion).

Operating profit for the year was HKD 4.1 billion ($528m) against a loss of HKD 2.8 billion the previous year. EBITDA increased 17% to HKD 6.1 billion ($786m). Its customer base increased 28% to 12m during the year.

Geographically, Hong Kong and Macau revenue increased 12% to HKD 8.1 billion ($1.04 billion), Israel revenue rose 19% to HKD 14 billion ($1.8 billion), Indonesia revenue increased 169% to HKD 315m ($41m), Thailand revenue was up 23% at HKD 1.2 billion ($155m), and Sri Lanka revenue was HKD 160m ($21m).

The company plans to spin off its Hong Kong and Macau operations, and expand its Indonesia and Vietnam operations. It has planned a capex of HKD 7 billion ($902m) for 2009 for all its operations excluding Hong Kong and Macau. The company also plans to sell its 66% stake in Thai joint venture Hutchison CAT Wireless MultiMedia to its partner CAT Telecom.

Dennis Lui, chief executive at Hutchison Telecom, said: Our Indonesian operation achieved encouraging customer growth and improved operational performance amidst intense market competition. Our Vietnamese operation is set to launch a nationwide GSM service. Together these two markets will be the key impetus for growth for Hutchison Telecom.

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