Hutchison reports strong profits for 2006

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Hutchison reports strong profits for 2006

Parent of mobile operator 3 claims shrinking 3G losses.

Hutchison Whampoa, owner of mobile operator 3, reported a 40 per cent jump in annual profits yesterday, boosted by shrinking losses for its 3G business. 

The Hong Kong-based conglomerate said that net income for 2006 was £1.3bn (A$3.17), up from £930m (A$2.267) a year ago. 

Hutchison pioneered mobile multimedia with the 3 brand, which launched as the UK's first 3G network in March 2003.

3's worldwide revenue grew 35 per cent in 2006 to £3.3bn (A$8.04), and the operator is now expected to break even in 2008. This is a key turnaround for Hutchison, which reportedly spent six years selling assets to offset 3's losses.

Hutchison chairman Li Ka Shing, the ninth richest person in the world according to Forbes, told reporters: "We have full confidence in the 3G business today. The losses are shrinking."

3's global subscriber base is now more than 14.7 million, including 3.8 million in the UK.
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