New World Mobility expects to post a full-year profit of more than HK$300 million despite tough market conditions. The bright forecast by the wholly owned subsidiary of New World Development was the second by a mobile operator in a week. Peoples Phone, which has the same subscriber base as New World Mobility - about 850,000 - said last Tuesday it expected a profit of more than HK$400 million this year. It reported a HK$268 million profit last year. New World Mobility said it made more than HK$100 million profit in the first half of its financial year to December 31. 'We have been contributing several million dollars [to the parent company] on a monthly basis,' chief executive Norman Wai Fung-man said. New World Mobility and Peoples were the only mobile operators who did not bid for a third-generation (3G) mobile licence. Mr Wai said New World Mobility had improved its bottom line more by cost controls than improved sales. For instance, it had slashed its workforce to 700 from about 1,200. Mr Wai said pre-paid card sales had been growing rapidly, thanks to a product partnership featuring popular young-girl combo Twins. 'We managed to grow our pre-paid card sales by 130,000 in only six months,' Mr Wai said. 'Soon, our customer base will reach 900,000.' However, Mr Wai cautioned that the year had begun with a deteriorating operating environment, which was a bad profit signal. The industry churn rate, which measures subscribers switching to other networks, stabilised at about 2 per cent last year before rising to more than 3 per cent this month after operators waived a HK$100 SIM card fee and HK$40 port-in charge. 'This is the first time that we have followed the waiver initiated by other operators. We had no choice but to follow.' Mr Wai said. He said monthly average revenue per user (arpu) of New World Mobility this financial year was HK$240, down HK$20 from the previous year. But it managed to keep a net arpu of about HK$210. More than 10 per cent of revenue was from non-voice service, up from about 5 per cent. This included value-added services and data services such as short messages. Two other significant revenue streams were Hong Kong-China roaming services and network leasing, Mr Wai said. New World provides a network for paging company Telecom Digital, estimated to have more than 100,000 subscribers. China Unicom has signed a deal with New World Mobility to promote a dual SIM card service in Hong Kong. The service, which will offer users with SIM cards both Hong Kong and mainland mobile numbers, is aimed at minimising roaming charges. Mr Wai said New World Mobility might launch a reciprocal service in China with Unicom but would wait for the right time. He said the company had received approval to launch the service.