Despite loss, parent continues support for Hutchison Australia

Despite continued losses Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia)'s parent company is injecting $1 billion into the Australian mobile telephone company.

This year alone Hutchison has forecast losses in the range of $100 million to $110 million in the roll-out of its Orange One and 3G networks.

Hutchison's Hong Kong parent Hutchison Whampoa announced yesterday it would underwrite $1 billion of the company's capital requirements.

Frank Sixt, group finance director of Hutchison Whampoa, told the annual general meeting this figure will be required over the next three to five years.

"Our current expectation is that a further $1 billion of equity capital will be needed over the course of the next three to five years," Sixt said.

Hutchison chief financial officer Stephen Gardiner said the development of Orange One and its new 3G business has pushed out profits for "quite a few years yet".

Hutchison posted a net loss of $92.5 million for the 2000 calendar year.

The company has been talking to Telecom New Zealand and other parties about possible "business arrangements" in the Australian market.

Telecom NZ subsidiary AAPT and project partner Lucent Technologies yesterday pulled the plug on the roll out of a CDMA network in Australia.

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More about AAPTHutchisonHutchison Telecommunications (Aust)Hutchison WhampoaLucentLucent TechnologiesTelecom New Zealand

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