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Public company info - i-CABLE Communications Ltd. , 01097.HK

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i-CABLE Communications Ltd., 01097.HK - Company Profile
Chairman David Chiu
Share Issued (share) 7,135,000,000
Par Currency
Par Value -0.0
Industry TV & Broadcasting
Corporate Profile Business Summary: The principal activities of the Group include media and telecommunications operations. Performance for the year: Revenue of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2019 decreased by approximately HK$2 million or 0.2% to approximately HK$1,161 million (2018: HK$1,163 million). Loss from operations of the Group for the year ended 31 December 2019 was approximately HK$364 million, representing a decrease of approximately 26%, as compared with the loss from operations of approximately HK$489 million for the year ended 31 December 2018. After the recognition of interest income, finance costs, non-operating income and income tax, the Group recorded a net loss of approximately HK$397 million for the year ended 31 December 2019 (2018: HK$456 million). Basic and diluted loss per share for the year ended 31 December 2019 was approximately HK5.9 cents (2018 (restated): HK7.3 cents). Business Review Media The media segment (previously named as the “television segment”, together with the “other segment”, now renamed as the “media segment”) includes operations related to the television subscription business, domestic free television programme service, advertising, channel carriage, television relay service, programme licensing, theatrical release and other related businesses. Revenue derived from the media segment for the year ended 31 December 2019 decreased by approximately 11% to approximately HK$752 million (2018: HK$843 million) on lower subscription revenue. Operating costs before depreciation incurred by the media segment for the year ended 31 December 2019 decreased by approximately 15% to approximately HK$961 million (2018: HK$1,137 million). EBITDA for the year ended 31 December 2019 was a loss of approximately HK$209 million (2018: a loss of approximately HK$294 million) due to net effect of the decrease in programming costs and the decrease in revenue. Telecommunications The telecommunications segment (previously named as the “internet and multimedia segment”, now renamed as the “telecommunications segment”) includes operations related to broadband internet access services, portal operation, mobile content licensing, telephony services, network leasing, network construction, mobile agency service as well as other related businesses. Revenue derived from the telecommunications segment for the year ended 31 December 2019 increased by approximately HK$89 million to approximately HK$409 million (2018: HK$320 million). Operating costs before depreciation incurred by the telecommunications segment for the year ended 31 December 2019 increased by approximately HK$41 million to approximately HK$244 million (2018: HK$203 million). EBITDA increased from approximately HK$117 million for the year ended 31 December 2018 to approximately HK$165 million for the year ended 31 December 2019. Prospects: Since Forever Top became the Controlling Shareholder in 2017 as a result of being the underwriter of the Open Offer, the Company has been focusing on formulating an organisational restructuring which included, among other things, (i) cost saving initiative; (ii) introduction of new contents and channels; (iii) new television content co-operation models; and (iv) strategic review on possible restructuring of the Group’s business portfolio to achieve cost saving and improve profitability, as well as the financial performance of the Group. As part of a strategic review, the Group will continue to evaluate the possibility of forming partnership or disposing its loss making operations to reduce the cash drain on the business. However, there is no certainty that these may lead to any satisfactory conclusion for any transactions. In addition, free TV launched its integrated Cantonese channel under the domestic free television programme service licence in May 2017. The Group has expanded its operation to include an English news desk and Putonghua finance desk, to support the newly established Hong Kong International Business Channel, a 24-hour English free television channel in Hong Kong, on Channel 76 in July 2018 and focuses on providing financial news and information with programmes in both English and Putonghua. The above measures could enhance the overall competitiveness of the Group. The Group also entered into a network development agreement with CMHK in December 2018 in relation to a strategic collaboration in telecommunications and value-added media-related services. The cross-platform collaboration would dynamically integrate the strengths and creativity of the two companies, develop higher-quality, diversified telecommunications services, and strengthen sales channels. The two companies would work together to take the development of the local telecommunications and media market to a new level and the partnership with CMHK represents a significant step forward in the future development of the Group. With respect to the telecommunications segment, the Group provides its broadband internet access services through the backbone of the Group’s territory-wide television broadcasting infrastructure. In order to improve business competitiveness, it is essential for the Group to continue investing in network and to actively seek collaborative opportunities with leading technology and communication providers to deliver quality services and solutions to its customers, and develop new revenue streams in the 5G era. The media segment of the Group is experiencing intense competition in a crowded marketplace with a super dominant operator. The proliferation of online contents — many of those free of charge — offer abundance of choices to users, changing their viewing behavior and posting extra threat to the Group’s TV subscription business. At the same time, the increasingly keen competition for exclusive contents has raised acquisition costs. Pressure on subscription and viewership persists as competition is expected to remain keen, thus the business remains challenging. i-CABLE News OTT App focusing on news and finance was launched during the year to expand channel reach to viewers, while enhancing cross-platform synergy as well as business opportunity. Meanwhile, the GBA is posting a significant opportunity for the Group to shape and expand the business development by collaborating with major media and operators within the region. The partnership with GuangDong Radio and Television and the establishment of Greater Bay Area News Centre serve as the initial attempts to tap into the market and businesses in relation to the region. The Group will continue to leverage its competitive advantages, while at the same time embrace the mutually beneficial commercial potential of greater collaboration within the GBA. After the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19 Outbreak”) in early 2020, a series of precautionary and control measures have been and will continue to be implemented in Hong Kong. The Group will pay close attention to the development of the COVID-19 Outbreak and its impact to the Group and take proactive measures as appropriate. The Group will continue to explore new opportunities in the market and exercise prudence to invest in programming library, contents enrichment, new media development, customer service improvement, higher speed broadband service upgrades, as well as marketing and media initiatives to sharpen the competitiveness of the Group. The Group is also well prepared to capitalise on the opportunity brought by the upcoming 5G mobile communication network and the emerging market in the GBA.

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