Richard Li

PCCW sets up pay-TV push as its profits slip

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 February, 2012, 12:00am


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PCCW, the media and information- technology services giant controlled by Richard Li Tzar-kai, plans to boost investment in its pay-television business and expand support for corporate data centres on the mainland this year.

The company outlined these upbeat plans yesterday, despite reporting a lower net profit of HK$1.61 billion last year from HK$1.93 billion in 2010. It attributed that decline to a drop in the value of its property holdings, held mostly by subsidiary Pacific Century Premium Developments.

Revenue from its core business segments - media, information technology services and the telecommunications operations of spin-off HKT - increased 5 per cent to HK$22.51 billion last year from 2010. PCCW is the majority shareholder of HKT Trust and operating firm HKT, which grew its revenue 7 per cent year on year to HK$19.82 billion.

Core 'ebitda' or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation - a measure of a company's operating profitability - advanced 3 per cent to HK$7.25 billion from HK$7.07 billion in the previous year.

Based on those results, the total dividend for last year amounted to 15.9 Hong Kong cents per share, or HK$1.16 billion, which is higher than the minimum dividend committed by PCCW before HKT's listing.

'We are optimistic about the future of the group given the solid HKT contributions and the growth potential of the media and [information-technology] solutions businesses,' PCCW group managing director George Chan Ching-cheong said.

Chan said the group's continued investment in Chinese-language programmes provided 'significant growth momentum', while its solutions business is 'well-positioned to capture the increasing demand for data-centre services' in Hong Kong and the mainland.

PCCW's share price rose 1.02 per cent to close at HK$2.96 yesterday.