HKT recorded modest growth in H1 as gains from higher-cost 5G plans were partially offset by intense competition in the price-conscious segment as prolonged travel restrictions curtailed roaming revenue.

The largest mobile operator in the territory by subscribers doubled its 5G user base year-on-year to 918,000.

In an earnings release, HKT noted the local economy entered a “pronounced slowdown” caused by a fifth wave of Covid-19 (coronavirus) cases, creating subdued consumer sentiment.

Net profit was up 1 per cent year-on-year to HKD1.9 billion ($242.5 million) and revenue 3 per cent to HKD16.2 billion.

Mobile service revenue rose 2 per cent to HKD3.6 billion, driven by rising adoption of 5G services by consumers and enterprises, and growth in prepaid users. Post-paid ARPU was steady at HKD187.

HKT noted roaming revenue remained limited during the period but expects a “meaningful contribution” once international travel fully reopens.

Handset sales fell 16 per cent to HKD1.3 billion, attributed to supply chain disruptions.

Post-paid subscribers were flat at 3.3 million and prepaid grew 24.5 per cent to 1.5 million.

While H1 capex of HKD1.2 billion was at the same level as in 2021, spending on mobile declined as HKT completed the rollout of its 5G network across the territory.