HKT, Hong Kong’s largest mobile operator, reported net profit for the first half of the year that jumped 27 per cent to HKD1.77 billion ($228 million), with mobile revenue more than doubling from a year ago.
Overall revenue increased 28 per cent to HKD15.9 billion, while mobile service revenue, including the first full six-month contribution from the acquired CSL, almost doubled to HKD4.58 billion. Handset sales, driven in large part by the continued popularity of the iPhone 6, rose 151 per cent during the period to HKD1.46 billion.
Mobile revenue accounted for 38 per cent of HKT’s total revenue for the period compared to 23 per cent a year ago. Mobile data revenue increased by 100 per cent year-on-year and accounted for 69 per cent of mobile services revenue, while IDD and roaming revenue accounted for 18 per cent of mobile services revenue for the period.
The company’s mobile customer base rose 3 per cent 4.6 million, with postpaid customers accounted for 68 per cent of the total. Postpaid ARPU increased 4 per cent to HKD224 ($29) at the end of June. The postpaid churn rate improved to 1.4 per cent in the first half compared to 1.6 per cent a year earlier.
International voice revenue rose 12 per cent to HKD3.87 billion and broadband revenue was up 5 per cent to HKD2.33 billion. Its FTTH subscriber base rose 16 per cent to 537,000.
The company’s EBITDA margin increased 1 point to 36 per cent, while mobile EBITDA rose from 33 per cent a year ago to 38 per cent in the first half of 2015.
Operating expenses fell 2.8 per cent to HK3.63 billion, while opex as a percentage of revenue dropped slightly to 22.9 per cent. Capex declined 5 per cent to HKD1.3 billion and as a percentage of revenue was 8.2 per cent compared to 8.5 per cent in H1 2014.
HKT group managing director Alex Arena said it anticipates more synergies will be realised as it presses on with the integration of CSL, which it acquired from Telstra in May 2014.
He said that, despite uncertainties in some advanced economies, HKT expects to continue to benefit from the growth in demand for international connectivity services, especially in emerging markets.
“Having grown at a modest pace this year, the Hong Kong economy looks set to face further uncertainties given the generally weak macro-conditions within the major global economies. Management will retain a cautious approach in our operations, but we are confident that our innovation and market-leading services will continue to give us a competitive advantage even in a challenging environment,” Arena said.