HONGKONG Telecom's lucrative monopoly on international calls helped it exceed hopes for a bumper 1992 as profits attributable to shareholders rose 13.3 per cent. Profits were $6.43 billion, although one-off charges meant that the figure was a whisker below some analysts' forecasts. Chief executive Michael Gale said the figures showed ''strong growth and satisfactory profits largely because of the performance of our core businesses''. Turnover rose 18 per cent to $21.65 billion, with international calls the engine behind the growth. Revenue from international calls increased 23 per cent to $13.59 billion and made up 63 per cent of the company's revenue, against 60 per cent in 1991. According to Mr Gale, the tightening economic links with the mainland meant that calls to China made up 44 per cent of international calls measured by minutes, and their value grew faster than that of other international calls at 36.5 per cent last year. He reiterated his belief that the Government would honour its agreement to preserve the company's monopoly on basic international services to 2006. The final dividend will be 23.1 cents, taking the full-year dividend to 43.4 cents, a rise of 14.2 per cent. Although Mr Gale complained about rising costs, the company's accounts show salaries rose just eight per cent. However, Mr Gale said that wages related to investment projects were being capitalised. The number of lines installed rose eight per cent. Business lines led the way with growth of 12 per cent, one of the highest figures in the developed world. Each Hongkong person made an average of 3.5 hours of international calls a year, compared with 30 minutes each a decade ago, also approaching a world record, said Mr Gale. Mr Andrew Harrington, senior analyst with Salomon Brothers, described the results as ''excellent''. Apart from the pension charge, the company accelerated depreciation of its undersea cables, which increased depreciation charges for 1992 by $105 million. It will also increase depreciation for future years. The company surprised analysts by mildly stepping up its capital investment programme, despite its already advanced network. In 1993 investment would be about $4 billion, of which about $500 million would be related to its new Quarry Bay headquarters, the company said. The Legislative Council is putting the final touches to a price-control formula that will tie Hongkong Telecom's local charges to four percentage points below the rate of inflation. ''No other company I'm aware of in Hongkong is giving this sort of guarantee,'' said Mr Gale. ''If you find one, let me know.'' Mr Gale painted a picture of a company preparing for a new competitive environment, with more staff development and increased secondment of staff to other companies in the Cable and Wireless group to sharpen their skills. Asked if there would be further staff cuts after last year's loss of 1,100 jobs in March, Mr Gale said ''a categoric no''. The company remained optimistic on prospects in China, despite the recent statement from Beijing that foreigners would not be allowed to take equity stakes in basic networks. Mr Gale described the door as shut, but not locked.