3 Group turns profit, lifts parent results

Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa saw its net profit rise 47% to HK$20 billion (€1.8 billion) in 2010, as its 3 Group of companies finally turned in a positive showing.
The 3 Group, which offers 3G services in Australia, Indonesia and Europe, turned its first operating profit of HK$2.9 billion before taxes. The Group has been loss making since it started business in 2003, and the 2010 results overturned a loss of HK$8.9 billion in 2009.
All operations in the 3 Group had achieved profit before taxes and interest in the second half, with the exception of the Group’s Ireland business. Overall subscriber numbers grew 13% to almost 30 million, with the number of high-value mobile broadband customers rising 32% to six million.
Hutchison Whampoa’s telecom business in Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka reported a pre tax and interest loss of HK$2.69 billion, despite a 101% increase in customer base to 25.7 million. Hong Kong and Macau contributed HK$775 million in net profit, a 61% increase from 2009, as the customer base for the region reached 3.2 million at the end of 2010.
In Europe, Austria was the biggest climber for the firm, with revenues up 19% to €207 million, followed by Ireland – up 17% to €89.9 million – and Sweden and Denmark, which grew 17% to 6.4 billion Swedish Kroner (€716 million). Revenues in the UK fell 5% year-on-year to £1.4 billion (€1.5 billion).