Tycoon Richard Li Tzar-kai's Pacific Century Cyberworks (PCCW) made a huge comeback from 2000's debt-ridden results to announce a 32 per cent fall in gross debt on Wednesday afternoon. As of December 2001, Hong Kong's dominant telecommunications carrier made HK$1.9 billion in net profit - with basic earnings per share of 8.46 cents - as revenues rose 6 per cent. Through bonds and loans, the company re-paid US$559 million (about HK$4.3 billion) of the US$4.7 billion debt it had acquired after purchasing Cable & Wireless HKT for US$28.5 billion in August 2000. 'Our integrated communications business produced a satisfactory performance, considering this was an extremely difficult year for the industry as a whole,' said PCCW's chairman and chief executive, Mr Li. He added: 'Against this difficult backdrop, PCCW was able to maintain a stable core telecommunications business, reduce total debt, continue our prudent investment strategy while cutting costs.' Mr Li said PCCW had reduced operating expenditure by 9 per cent and capital expenditure by 41 per cent to increase cash flow. The company is looking to the mainland for development in the upcoming year as it continues to focus on expanding business in value-added services.