Wharf T&T's profit increased sixfold last year but it still blames PCCW for hindering its growth by blocking its fixed-line customers from switching to other networks. The No 3 fixed-line operator on Wednesday announced a net profit of HK$53 million to December 31, up from HK$8 million in 2001. Turnover rose 3 per cent to HK$1.11 billion. 'We could have performed better if PCCW had not blocked the clients from subscribing to other operators,' vice-president Tony Cheung Tung-lan said. Wharf said it installed more than 100,000 fixed lines last year, bringing the total to 340,000. The company, privately held by Wharf Holdings, had a 9 per cent share of the overall fixed-line market, and 15 per cent of the corporate sector. About 25 per cent of its revenue was from IDD services, with the remaining 75 per cent coming from fixed-line services. Mr Cheung said the rejection rate for customers wanting to switch operators climbed from 10 per cent last July to 21 per cent in December, when about 4,300 of 20,200 Wharf's applications were rejected. For residential lines, the average rejection rate in the past 12 months was 18 per cent. 'Also, it [PCCW] is imposing excessive charges for those who want to port [switch] to other operators. It affected our costs and growth,' Mr Cheung said. PCCW declined to comment. The company had a net profit margin of 5 per cent and an earnings margin before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 30 per cent, up from 21 per cent in 2001.