Hong Kong’s fourth largest cellco by subscribers, SmarTone, has posted a 13% increase in revenues to HKD2.1 billion (USD270 million) for its fiscal first half ended 31 December 2006. EBITDA for the period grew by 10% year-on-year to HKD437 million, whilst operating profit decreased by 20% to HKD48 million, reflecting the impact of higher handset subsidies. As compared to the previous six months, operating profit registered a modest growth of 5%. Total mobile customers stood at 1,093,000 at the end of December, up by only 30,000 in six months due to Hong Kong’s deeply saturated market. Blended ARPU for the July-December period increased by 6% to HKD222 and data revenue registered an encouraging growth of 51% mainly attributable to the rising popularity of SmarTone’s 3G service, which it launched in December 2004. Its 3G customer base stood at 190,000 at end-December 2006, representing 24% of its post-paid users.
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