Sunday cuts loss, sees break-even
Sunday Telecommunications almost halved its net loss to HK$466.56 million last year from HK$923.92 million a year earlier after slashing handset subsidies to customers and beefing up sales.
The company, operating wireless services under the name of Sunday, cut its year-on-year ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) loss by 77 per cent to HK$119 million for the 12 months to December 31.
Managing director Craig Ehrlich said break-even was on the cards for the first six months of this year.
'Last year was a difficult year for the wireless industry, but a good year for Sunday,' he said.
The operating loss fell 49.09 per cent to HK$380.68 million.
Stronger contributions from mobile-phone services and sales of mobile handsets and accessories lifted turnover 41.45 per cent to HK$1.45 billion.
Handset subsidies were reduced to HK$21 million from HK$317 million last year.
Growth in the number of subscribers was strong, at 43 per cent to 410,000. Nevertheless, Sunday felt the impact of cut-throat competition, with the average revenue per user (arpu) sliding about 7 per cent to HK$272 last year.
'We expect a small decline in arpu this year, but we're confident that it is still higher than anyone else,' Mr Ehrlich said.
He believed the market would see a moderation this year.
Interest income surged to HK$51.05 million last year from HK$2.21 million.
The group's capital expenditure, mainly on strengthening mobile services and on building a wireless application protocol platform, stood at HK$339 million.
Sunday spent less last year on advertising and marketing, at HK$191 million.
Mr Ehrlich estimated capital expenditure would be slightly less this year. Sunday would bid for a 3G licence in Hong Kong, but was undecided about Singapore.
He said Sunday's healthy financial position - with a combined HK$1.7 billion cash reserve and credit facility - would provide a foundation for its future investment.
Loss per share improved to 16.4 HK cents last year from 40.2 HK cents. No dividend was recommended.