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media release
August 22, 2000

Orange One launch a highlight of Hutchison's first half

Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited (Hutchison) today announced its results for the first half of 2000, noting the launch of its world-first service, Orange One, as an operational highlight.

For the first time since the full service became available on June 1, Hutchison Managing Director, Mr Barry Roberts-Thomson announced Orange One subscriber numbers. As at August 21, Hutchison had acquired 25,142 Orange One subscribers.

"Orange One is a unique service, which has been specifically designed to meet the accelerating demand for additional phone lines and to provide competition in local call services," Mr Roberts-Thomson said.

"Through our pioneering work in localzone technology and our investment in a network of outstanding quality, we have created a technical platform from which we will become a significant provider of innovative wirefree services."

Other operational highlights included the development of Hutchison's wirefree data strategy, its purchase of 1800MHz spectrum licences and continued strong growth in the Mobile Resale business.

Mobile Resale subscribers grew by 29% compared to the previous corresponding period to reach 285,276 at June 30. This also reflected 14% growth over the six months from December 31, 1999.

Total subscribers at June 30 were 404,220 including 83,247 Paging and Messaging subscribers, 24,015 Value Added Services subscribers and 11,682 Orange One subscribers.

Total revenue for the six month period was $195.4 million, up 25% compared to the previous corresponding period. Mobile Resale remained the major contributor to revenue at over 85%.

Hutchison maintained its record for high average revenue per subscriber (ARPU) with an annualised ARPU of $986. This was largely due to Hutchison's success in attracting and retaining high value customers.

Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) fell to record a loss of $22.1 million due to increased operating expenses incurred through growth in the existing and new businesses.

Network Cost of Sales (NCOS) as a percentage of revenue rose 6% to 54% due to the changing mix of contribution from Paging and Messaging and Mobile Resale and, from June 1, costs associated with the Orange One network.

Other Operating Expenditure increased as a percentage of revenue from 44% to 55%. This was largely driven by increases in staff and other costs associated with anticipated future growth.

Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) recorded a loss of $25.3 m and Net Profit After Tax was a loss of $22.3m.

"Hutchison is transforming itself from a successful reseller of other people's services to a fully fledged carrier with its own advanced networks and highly differentiated products," Mr Roberts-Thomson said.

"With the launch of Orange One we have proven we have the vision, responsiveness and drive to become a leading innovator in wirefree services."

ends

media contact
Melina Reed, National Manager Public Affairs, Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited
Tel:(02) 8902 0554 Orange One (office & mobile)
(02) 9964 4874 alternate

Orange products and services are provided in Australia by Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited.