3 Group’s 2016 earnings were boosted by the formation of the Wind 3 joint venture in Italy and “promising results and underlying operational growth” from its other operations in Europe.
However, there were some downsides with average revenue per user pressured due to roaming rate reductions in the European Union (EU) and “keen competition in all markets”, parent CK Hutchison revealed in an earnings statement.
The company said for the year to 31 December, 3 Group generated EBITDA of HKD18.9 billion ($2.4 billion), up 9 per cent year-on-year, on revenue of HKD62.4 billion, down 1 per cent.
EBITDA growth benefitted from the two month’s-worth of contributions made by the Italian joint venture. It also noted gains from an enlarged customer base, improved net customer service margin, lower customer acquisition costs, and “post-merger cost synergies” in Republic of Ireland and Austria.
Revenue was impacted by depreciation in European currencies.
The operator’s active customer base increased 76 per cent year-on-year to 46 million, driven largely by gains on the Italian venture.
After the end of the period, 3 UK inked a deal to acquire UK Broadband, a move it said: “provides 3 UK with additional mobile spectrum, which may be used for a future launch of 5G services, and also allows 3 UK to pursue a new segment opportunity in home broadband”.