Hutchison Australia unit posts $263m loss

Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) said its full-year net loss narrowed last year when compared to the year before, and that it expects a turnaround in earnings before the end of 2008, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the Sydney-based mobile telephony group, which operates the '3' network, said net loss for the year ended December 31 narrowed to A$285 million ($263 million) from a loss of A$759.4 million the prior year.

The group issued convertible preference shares during the year to reduce its debt position, resulting in a A$103.6 million ($96 million) reduction in financing costs, the report said.

The company said the recapitalization will save A$250 million ($230 million) in interest costs on an annualized basis, the report said.

The result was in line with market expectations, it added.

The company ended the year in a positive position with operating cash flow, the Associated Press report further said.

Revenue rose 25% on-year to A$1.32 billion ($1.23 billion) from A$1 billion while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose to A$114 million ($105 million) from A$30.2 million a year ago.

The group did not declare a dividend.

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