Hutchison reports EBITDA gains of 38%, 94% at 3 Group, HAT

28 Feb 2014

Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa reports that its 3 Group division’s registered 3G/4G mobile customer base across six European countries increased by 13% during 2013 to over 26.6 million, of which it said 83% were ‘active users’. 3 Group reported a 6% increase in annual revenue to HKD61.976 billion (USD7.986 billion), while EBITDA and EBIT grew by 38% and 54% to HKD12.671 billion and HKD4.856 billion respectively. 3 Group – which operates in the UK, Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Austria – reported the milestone of positive EBITDA-less-CAPEX for the year. The positive performance was attributed to strength in the smartphone and mobile data segments, an increased contribution from 3 Austria upon the completion of the acquisition of Orange Austria in January 2013, and ‘a well-disciplined operating and capital expenditure profile.’ In June 2013 3 Ireland entered into an agreement with Telefonica to acquire rival cellco O2 Ireland for EUR780 million (USD1.1 billion) with an additional deferred payment of EUR70 million payable dependent upon achievement of agreed financial targets. The completion of this transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected in the second quarter of 2014.

Another Hutchison Whampoa division, Hutchison Asia Telecommunications (HAT), with mobile operations in Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, reported a 41% rise in total revenue to HKD6.295 billion in FY2013, while EBITDA climbed by 94% to HKD819 million from HKD423 million in 2012. Although posting an operating loss (LBIT) of HKD409 million for 2013, this was a 52% improvement from HAT’s reported LBIT of HKD846 million the year before. HAT’s flagship subsidiary, 3 Indonesia, increased its ‘active’ subscriber base by 40% in a year to over 32 million at 31 December 2013, driving revenue growth of 50%, while becoming EBITDA-positive in the second half. The HAT group claimed an active customer base of approximately 43.5 million across its three countries at the end of the period under review.

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