3 Group saw “solid improvements” in its operating results for 2011 in all markets except Australia, according to figures released by parent Hutchison Whampoa.

The conglomerate is also optimistic about 3’s performance moving forward, stating that “despite Europe being affected by economic and financial uncertainties, 3 Group has maintained its growth momentum in the smartphone and mobile broadband market segments this year and will make an improved earnings contribution to [Hutchison’s] results in 2012.”

3 Group reported total revenue of HKD74.29 billion (US$9.6 billion), a 16 percent year-on-year increase. EBIT of HKD1.48 billion marks the second year of positive results at this level, although it was 49 percent down compared with 2010 due to lower one-off gains being recognised by operating units in the UK and Italy.

The company’s registered 3G customer base increased by 7 percent during the period, and currently totals more than 31.6 million customers.

Hutchison’s Australian business suffered during the first half of 2011 as a result of network performance issue, with the company having “invested a significant amount” to drive network improvement plans at this unit. It said that there will be a focus on improving the financial performance for this business in 2012.

The company also saw a one-time write-off of HKD1.3 billion as the result of a revaluation of the asset base at 3 UK, following a network integration programme.

It also noted that it is still awaiting regulatory approval for a plan to acquire Orange Austria, a deal which was this week reported to be facing some hurdles.