Comba buys majority stake in Laos' ETL amid lower FY

Thursday 23 March 2017 | 12:32 CET | News

Comba Telecom, a global provider of wireless products based in Hong Kong, said full year revenues fell over 12 percent from the year before to HKD 5.94 billion, as most mobile network operators spent less on the back of rapid 4G penetration and the still depressed macro-economic situation. The operator profit sank almost 24 percent although the gross profit margin increased by 0.7 percentage point, due to better efficiencies, plus growing revenue contributions from some high-end products. Combo will recommend a final dividend of 0.8 cents per ordinary share, for an annual dividend payout ratio will be 36.9 percent.

President and vice-chairman Zhang Yuejun said the company is putting its focus on R&D activities, in order to grasp the opportunities arising from 5G systems. The company also announced the acquisition of a 51 percent stake in ETL, the third-largest state-owned operator in Laos. 

Breaking down revenues by source, those generated from the China Mobile Group declined 16.9 percent to HKD 1.76 billion, accounting for 29.5 percent of the total. Revenue from China Unicom Group decreased by 11.4 percent to HKD 1.54 billion (25.8%). Revenue from China Telecom Group dropped 25.3 percent to HKD 1.18 billion (19.8%). Revenue from other customers, including mainly China Tower and specialised government and enterprise network customers, lifted 86.3 percent to HKD 394 million (6.6%). Comba expects revenue contributions from China Tower and the specialised network customers to gradually increase in the future. On the international front, although revenue contributions from international customers declined, revenue generated by core equipment manufacturers increased. Still, revenue from international customers and core equipment manufacturers slipped 4 percent lower to HKD 1.09 million (18.3%).

Looking at revenues by business units, revenue from the antennas and subsystems business weakened by over 19 percent to HKD 2.5 billion (42%), affected by the near completion of 4G network build-outs. Revenue generated from the wireless enhancement business slid almost 12 percent to HKD 885 million (14.9%). Driven by the growth of Small Cell and microwave businesses, revenue generated from the wireless access and transmission business went 37.6 percent higher to HKD 393 million (6.6%), while revenue from services was down 9 percent to HKD 2.17 billion (36.5%).

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