Hutchison to meet 2005 targets

Hutchison Telecommunications remains on track to achieve its 2005 targets, the company's chairman Canning Kin-Ning Fok told shareholders today.

He said the company expects earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) losses to trend downwards over the course of the year.

"Our ability to capitalize on our unique opportunity in Australia has required significant investment - much of which has already been put in place," he told the company's annual general meeting.

"Our EBITDA loss increased this year but we expect [such] losses will trend downwards in 2005 as revenues from customer growth increasingly offset operating and acquisition costs.

"We remain on track to achieving our previously stated goal of exiting 2005 in a sustainable, monthly positive EBITDA position.

"Annual losses are also expected to have peaked in 2004."

However, the chairman said that the restatement of earnings due to the new International Financial Reporting Standard's will have a negative impact on profit and loss in 2004 and 2005.

The company reported an annual loss of $551.985 million for the year to December 31, 2004.

Chief executive Kevin Russell said the changing nature of the mobile market, with service revenues switching from 2G to 3G are expected to accelerate in the second half of 2005.

He said Hutchison's 3 network was well positioned to capitalize on this.

However, he said service revenue levels from Orange will remain flat in 2005.

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