Slow Mobile

Aug 20, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka unit of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecom says its mobile subscribers in the island will drop after correcting an “overstatement” and tighter government registration rules in 2008. Revenue in the six months to June had risen 3.5 percent to 89 million Hong Kong dollars from 86 million dollars in the six months to June 2007.

“The slow down in turnover growth reflects the worsening of economic condition in the country which has led to a significant reduction in tariff and underlying customer usage,” the parent company told shareholders.

Operating profit for the six months in 2008 was fell 51.6 percent to 15 million Hong Kong dollars, against 31 million Hong Kong dollars in 2007.

Earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were down 26.1 percent to 34 million Hong Kong dollars from 86 million Hong Kong dollars.

Hutchison said EBITDA fell as network cost rose with new base stations, higher power charges and other costs that rose with inflation in Sri Lanka rising to 28 percent.

Depreciation and amortization changes had risen 27 percent to 19 million Hong Kong dollars from 15 million dollars with the expanding network. In the first half o