HONGKONG Telecom is expected to report tomorrow healthy earnings growth for the financial year ended March, helped by robust telecommunications traffic across the border and efficient cost control. But analysts are mixed as to what extent the company's profit rise will be offset by the eight per cent price reduction in international calls last August. The consensus among analysts is that Hongkong Telecom will chalk up an earnings increase of 14 per cent to $7.31 billion, compared with $6.42 billion in 1993, according to The Estimate Directory. Nomura Research Institute analyst Fred Bowers said: ''China IDD is the most exciting growth area for the company.'' He added that other markets also grew strongly last year. In the first half of the year, China ranked the fastest growing market, accounting for 48 per cent of the company's total traffic as a result of the increasing economic and political links between Hong Kong and the mainland. Mr Bowers expected telecommunications traffic to China would jump a hefty 35 per cent in volume for the full year and the market would provide an even faster increase in revenue given steady tariffs. He said that the bulk of the traffic growth came from the quality long-haul routes, such as calls to Shanghai and Beijing, instead of the previous short-haul calls to southern China. Mr Bowers expected Hongkong Telecom to post a 14.2 per cent rise in earnings to $7.34 billion. He said the company's profits would have been 19 per cent higher if it had not suffered tariff cuts on long-distance calls last August. Baring Securities analyst David Barden was more cautious as he projected Hongkong Telecom would have an earnings rise of 12.1 per cent to $7.21 billion. Limited by a price reduction in international calls, he reckoned that Hongkong Telecom would post a slow earnings growth of only nine per cent in the second half of the year compared with that of 15 per cent in the first six months. Mr Barden estimated a five per cent decline in turnover in the second half of the year, because international calls accounted for 62.5 per cent of the firm's revenues in the same period a year ago. However, he expected Hongkong Telecom's profit growth to accelerate in the coming year on the back of the reduced impact of the price cuts. ''A year's dip is of no concern to me. It won't affect the viability of the company,'' Mr Barden said. Carl Wong at Wardley Securities argued that the lower charges would spur further growth of the market. ''There will be a certain impact on the company. However, because its operating costs are increasing only slowly, they should more than offset the reduction in income,'' he said. Mr Wong predicted that earnings growth would increase 14.1 per cent to $7.33 billion. Hongkong Telecom will also have to be prepared for fierce competition when its exclusive franchise for Hong Kong telephone services expires next year.