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EDITIONS
Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Yet more gloom for PCCW
PCCW shareholders' meeting
Investors no longer see PCCW as a growth company
PCCW, the once-fashionable Hong Kong telecoms firm now in the financial doldrums, has unveiled a heavy loss in the first half of the year.

The firm, which has interests in telephones and online services throughout China and beyond, lost 713m Hong Kong dollars(58.4m; US$91.4m), mainly because they sold their mobile phone business at a loss.

Thanks to shrinking market share in its core Hong Kong fixed-line business, PCCW's overall revenue dropped by 10% during the half-year to HK$10.2bn.

PCCW's shares, which reached HK$28.50 at the peak of internet mania two years ago, is now at its lowest level since the firm acquired Hong Kong's main phone company in 2000.

Solid fundamentals?

Nonetheless, PCCW's underlying business is seen as relatively robust.

PCCW has online interests around China and beyond
Not including the one-time loss, PCCW would have seen its net profit grow by 17.2% to HK$1.09bn.

Over the past few months, the firm has launched an aggressive cost-cutting programme, including among other measures the loss of 1,800 jobs.

Many expect PCCW will slash thousands more jobs, with the aim of getting back into profit within two years.

But some investors worry that the firm has slashed its once-lofty ambitions, as well as sharply shrunk its business, in order to achieve short-term financial stability.

See also:

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29 Feb 00 | Asia-Pacific
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