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May 9, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:41pm

HK TELECOM BUSINESS IS BOOMING AS BRITISH RULE ENDS

By CBR Staff Writer

While Hong Kong braces itself for the end of British rule in July, Hong Kong Telecommunications Ltd is getting on with business. And business is very good indeed. For the year to March 31 net profits are up 12.5% to the equivalent of $1.4m on turnover that grew 10.8% to $4.2bn. The company is currently 59% owned by Cable & Wireless Plc but rumors about a change in ownership abound. Profit increases have been achieved via a tight grip on margins. The company has shed a further 1,255 of its staff leaving just 13,767 people and existing employees are being pushed hard for productivity gains. The most dramatic growth has been in mobile phones where revenues are up by a massive 43%. Hong Kong Telecom now claims to have a mobile subscriber base of 390,000 users, up 45% from last year. Another hi-tech product which is contributing to revenues for the first time is an Internet information service called Netvigator with 73,000 users. This is the first phase of a drive to bring interactive television to Hong Kong later this year. Services will include Video-on-demand and home shopping, provided via the existing telephone network. The board have recommended a final dividend of $0.05 per share, bringing the total for the year to $0.10.

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