– Makes Record High Operating Profit of more than HK$850 Million;
– Total Dividend Increases 5.6% YoY to HK13.2 Cents Per Share
HONG KONG — CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited (“CITIC Telecom” or the “Group”; stock code: 1883), a leading international telecoms operator and integrated information services provider in Asia, today announced its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2016.
During the year, the Group recorded turnover of HK$7,699.1 million. Its profit attributable to equity shareholders amounted to HK$850.1 million, representing an increase of 6.0% as compared with last year. Basic earnings per share were HK24.9 cents, up 4.6% year-on-year.
The Board recommended payment of a final dividend of HK10.35 cents per share for 2016. Together with the interim dividend of HK2.85 cents per share, the total dividend per share for 2016 would be HK13.2 cents, representing a 5.6% year-on-year growth. The dividend payout ratio was maintained at approximately 53%.
Mr. Xin Yue Jiang, Chairman of CITIC Telecom, said, “The Group has clear strategic objectives and effective development strategies, guiding its active pursuit of different business endeavours and efforts to take the company to new heights. Apart from launching innovative Internet-based products and services, we also made a number of overseas acquisitions during the year, which have helped broaden our overseas market coverage and open us to new business areas. This is proof that the Group’s strategy of ‘taking strength from its strong roots in the Mainland market and using Hong Kong and Macau as base and the bridge to accelerate expansion and boost coverage of overseas markets’ is starting to bear fruit.”
The Group is maintaining a healthy financial position, with stable cash flow generated by its business overall. As at 31 December 2016, the Group had cash and bank deposits of approximately HK$1,459.1 million. The Group has sufficient funds to meet financial obligations and contractual capital commitments in the coming 12 months.
During the year, the Group launched the “City Link” roaming services that supports data-sharing in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. It is the first carrier in Macau to offer genuine data-sharing service that covers the three territories. The service is supported by more than four million WiFi hotspots in Macau, Hong Kong and China. As at the end of 2016, the Group had 57% share of the 4G market in Macau, enhancing its market leadership. The number of its mobile broadband users also increased by 17%, year-on-year.
On the international telecommunications services front, the Group achieved breakthrough with its “DataMall” service, the first data flow trading platform. The Group cooperated with China Mobile and became the offshore data flow platform for “JegoTrip” and linked to leading OTT platforms, such as Alipay, Baidu Map and Ctrip, via the Internet. Currently, “DataMall” homes merchants from popular data source locations including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Korea. More than one million purchases were recorded last year and the number is growing quickly. It also boasts high customer satisfaction, evidencing the power of the advanced technology the Group affords and the product’s popularity in the market and strong growth potential.
For its Internet business, the Group put major effort to promote optical fibre broadband service. Its optical network in Macau attained 100% coverage in the first quarter of 2016 and the number of its optical service customers also increased substantially.
During the year, the Group completed the acquisition of the full ownership interests in CITIC Telecom Tower of total gross floor area of 340,000 square feet, which will be used to facilitate the expansion of its data centre business. When the project is completed, CITIC Telecom Tower will become one of the largest data centres in Hong Kong. Working in complement with the Group’s other data centres in the Asia Pacific region, it will significantly enhance the competitiveness of the Group’s data centre business and give the business a strong foundation for long term development.
The Group succeeded in the acquisition of a number of overseas assets during the year which has sped up its expansion in and boosted its coverage of international markets. The acquisition of Linx Telecommunications B.V. (“Linx”) was completed in Feb 2017, which serves 14 countries in Europe and Asia, has given the Group’s enterprise solutions business some unique advantages. Furthermore, the Group completed the acquisition of Singapore-headquartered Acclivis Technologies and Solutions Pte. Ltd. (“Acclivis”). On top of creating synergies with the Group’s existing business, Acclivis can also enhance the Group’s service capability, allowing it to become one of the few suppliers in the Southeast Asian market capable of providing cross-regional, one-stop and end-to-end corporate ICT services. The two acquisitions are conducive to the capturing of opportunities arising from China’s “One Belt One Road” strategy by the Group and have given the Group a solid foundation for future development.
Looking at 2017, to seize the opportunities brought by initiatives in relation to “One Belt One Road”, “Internet+” and globalisation, the Group will step up R&D of and increase investment in mobile, Internet, Internet of Things and ICT technologies. It will innovate with market trends and customer demands as its guide so as to provide customers with better services, and look for opportunities to develop new products, rally new customers and enter new markets. It will also build a top-grade team by the world standard and work hard on boosting its strength and corporate scale.
With the completion of the Acclivis acquisition, the Group will be able to provide customers in the region with one-stop ICT services that have distinct advantages, and the business is set to become a new direct growth driver of the Group. And, the Linx acquisition will give the Group unique coverage advantage for expanding the scale of its business.
Further to the completion of the acquisition of CITIC Telecom Tower, the Group now has an enlarged data centre network and expanded data centre capacity. The Group will step up development of related products and services in such areas as disaster recovery, security management, bandwidth sales, cloud computing, systems management and business support, etc. Data centre business will become another important business unit of the Group that can afford continuous growth.
With its business on a sound development path, the Group will continue to expand the merchant portfolio of “DataMall” and quickly grow the customer base and scale of the business. At the same time, it will expedite research effort targeting for new breakthroughs in the business and technical models of “DataMall” in its strive to provide unrestricted access to “DataMall” services by users around the world.
For the Macau market, the Group will continue to strengthen its competitive advantages in “three broadband” areas, namely mobile broadband, fixed-line broadband and wireless broadband, and also actively explore breakthroughs to unearth new businesses and new models.
Dr. Lin Zhenhui, Chief Executive Officer of CITIC Telecom, said, “Capitalising on the newly acquired overseas projects, we will seize the immense opportunities arising from China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ and ‘Internet+’ strategies to strengthen management and integration of Linx and Acclivis, that they may together with our existing operations enjoy maximum synergies, and enhance our capability in providing end-to-end corporate ICT services. These efforts will give the Group the support it needs to grow bigger and stronger.”