Another senior departure has spurred hopes the company can keep costs down Shares in Sunday Communications surged another 30.64 per cent yesterday as the company confirmed the departure of a senior executive. Group director for sales and marketing Wilson Chu resigned with immediate effect on Monday. Mr Chu joined the firm in 2000. Including Mr Chu, at least seven people have left Sunday in the past two months, according to a company source. They include at least two managerial-grade staff in the information technology department made redundant last month and some sales staff last week. Group managing director Bruce Hicks declined to reveal how many staff had left the company recently but insisted there had been no layoffs since last December. 'Some people have left Sunday over the last few days. Nothing is unusual except for the resignation of a member of the senior management,' he said. Hong Kong's smallest mobile operator laid off 10 per cent of its staff last December. 'We needed to get our operating costs down. We needed to change the way we do business because our industry is changing,' Mr Hicks said. 'Sunday was much better positioned as a result of that. I am really glad we did that in December.' He said Sunday had had a single-digit increase in its 510-strong workforce in Hong Kong since the end of last year while the headcount at its Shenzhen call centre had reached 200, compared with 173 previously. Sunday aims at reducing spending on cell-site rental and fixed-line transmission but analysts said it must undertake cost-cutting measures to deliver a turnaround. 'Sunday is the only loss-making operator,' said Core Pacific-Yamaichi analyst Mona Chung. 'It has to streamline its costs amid market consolidation.' Sunday's shares continued to surge yesterday on merger speculation despite the company's denials. Yesterday's rise, which followed a 37.78 per cent surge on Monday, took the shares to a 16-month closing high of 40.5 cents. 'Despite its rally in the past week, Sunday's business risk is rising due to high competitive pressure,' said Wallace Cheung at DBS Vickers Securities. 'Without a strong balance sheet and sufficient financial resources, Sunday cannot defend its market share and improve its network quality to attract new subscribers.'