CK Hutchison touted an expectation of future improvements in 3 Group Europe’s financial performance in its H1 earnings report, as it pursues an asset-light strategy, creates new 5G revenue streams and assesses in-market consolidation.

In CK Hutchison Group Telecom’s financial results, which covers its European 3-branded operations and units in Hong Kong and Macau, it pointed to gains in user numbers in the UK and trend improvements in the Italian market, where it previously cited tough conditions.

Moving forward the company noted it expected to benefit from increased roaming by European customers and revenue built on its 5G deployments. It also noted it was aiming for an “asset-light strategy” which includes the likes of network sharing to boost profitability.

These factors are alongside an anticipated general improvement in performance.

CK Hutchison Group Telecom reported revenue of HKD41.8 billion ($5.3 billion) in H1, down 9 per cent year-on-year.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) was down 81 per cent to HKD3.1 billion. Excluding one-off items, it noted the drop would have been 53 per cent.

It cited incremental tower service fees, higher operating costs and comparison against one-off items in 2021 as impacting its results.

The operator group also noted its drop in EBIT was partly affected by continued investments in network enhancements, IT and 5G rollouts, particularly in Italy and the UK.

Across the whole CK Hutchison business, which includes infrastructure, ports, retail and a range of other areas, it booked revenue of HKD229.6 billion, compared with HKD212.4 billion in H1 2021.

Profit attributable to shareholders increased 4 per cent to HKD19.1 billion.