Wharf Holdings expects the revenue contribution from it telecommunications business to grow sharply, according to chairman Gonzaga Li Wei-jen. 'The telecoms business is developing really fast,' Mr Li said yesterday. Wharf derives 10 per cent of revenue from its telecoms business, with the remainder coming from property interests. Mr Li, speaking after Wharf's annual general meeting, did not disclose a revenue target for this year. Attributable profit in the year to December 31 almost doubled from a year earlier to HK$3.2 billion, but turnover slipped 2.86 per cent to HK$10.52 billion. Wharf's telecoms interests include an 80 per cent stake in listed cable-television provider - i-Cable Communications - and a wholly owned fixed-line subsidiary - New T&T. The company is setting up a broadband Internet service under i-Cable, which it spun off in November last year. The blue chip's share price has fallen 42 per cent in the past nine months on concerns that competition in the media and telecoms sectors would lead to lower earnings. Yesterday, the counter lost 25 cents to end at HK$14.20. In the property sector, Mr Li said prices were stabilising, and office rentals had risen an average of 10 per cent year on year. Nonetheless, Mr Li said Wharf had no plans to increase its land bank, which is sufficient for 6-7 years of development. Financial controller Paul Tsui Yiu-cheung said the company's development properties in the mainland were valued at about HK$3.7 billion. On the retail side, Mr Li said he was confident about the prospect of the local market, despite sales figures of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent below their 1997 highs.