BEIJING—For the world’s best sprinters, passing the baton in the 4x400 relay is about as easy as rolling out of bed in the morning.
Picking a winner in that race used to be easy, too.
TSTT acting CEO George Hill said the majority state-owned telecommunications provider expects to make a profit in the financial year ending March 31, 2015, as the company completes the second year of a five-year strategic plan. Speaking to senior business journalists yesterday at a breakfast meeting, Hill said TSTT’s profits for its first quarter (April 1 to June 30) were in accordance with its year two projections. While he declined to outline what specifically the profit estimate for the current financial year was, he said that it would be in excess of $100 million.
TSTT recorded a net loss of $506 million for the year ended March 31, 2014, with National Enterprises Ltd, in which the Government’s 51 per cent stake in TSTT is vested, taking a $226 million hit to its bottom line.
Yesterday, NEL chairman Kenny Lue Chee Lip, in a statement accompanying the company’s consolidated financial statement, said NEL experienced a 60.7 per cent reduction in its profitability as its net profit for the 2012-2013 financial year declined to $201 million from $511 million the year before. According to the NEL chairman, TSTT’s loss of $506 million “included a provision for reorganisation costs of $694.6 million, which is expected to be a non-recurring provision. “TSTT has embarked on an agressive five-year strategic plan, of which 2014 was the first year and included a significant Voluntary Separation of Employees plan.”
Lue Chee Lip said in his chairman’s statement that NEL was “cautiously optimistic that this plan will revert TSTT to a profitable position from financial year 2015 onwards and NEL will see a return of our dividends from the company. Hill said TSTT expects to roll out LTE, the next stage in mobile broadband, within the next 12 months. He also said the possibility of British firm Cable & Wireless, which owns 49 per cent of TSTT, being granted the third mobile licence was a shareholder issue and not one for the executive management of the company.
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