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Optus lifts profits, boosts mobile subscribers and broadband customers Featured

Optus has increased its full-year profits to $817 million and boosted customer ranks over the last 12 months with the addition of 384,000 new mobile subscribers and 225,000 new NBN customers, according to its full year financial report.

The telco also reports that for the 12 months to March 31, it recorded a 3.4% increase in operating revenue to $8.71 billion for the full year, with the $817 million in net profit representing an increase of 2.8%.

For the quarter ended 31 March, Optus says the momentum in customer growth continued across consumer and enterprise markets with 154,000 new mobile services added in post-paid handset, pre-paid handset and mobile broadband segments.

Optus operating revenue for the quarter grew 3.0% to $2.16 billion despite the impact of the temporary suspension of connections onto the NBN HFC access network.

And excluding the impact of NBN migration revenues, Optus reports that operating revenue was up 5.5%, led by strong customer growth, higher equipment sales and increased ICT & managed services revenue.

Reported Optus EBITDA and net profit declined to $712 million and $208 million respectively with lower NBN migration revenues. Excluding NBN migration revenues, EBITDA and net profit increased 2.8% and 3.7% respectively.

Optus trumpeted that it now has 6.33 million 4G mobile customers, and a 4G mobile network that reaches 96.9% of the Australian population.

The telco says it experienced strong growth in both ICT and managed services over the 12 months and for the fourth quarter.

Operating revenue for the quarter was affected by the temporary suspension of connections onto the NBN HFC access network.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said, “Optus has continued to execute against its plan and has delivered a very good set of results for the full year and the quarter.

“This financial year, Optus reached the milestone of 10 million mobile customers who are attracted to our award winning national mobile network, unique content and competitive plans.

“We remain focused on executing our objective of delivering a premium mobile network with exclusive video content that engages Australian customers. As the exclusive domestic broadcaster for all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and with our English Premier League broadcast rights extended for a further three seasons to 2022, Optus will continue to be the home of elite soccer in Australia.”

Optus says the focus for the financial year was on expanding and building its mobile network nationally, spearheaded by a $1 billion investment in its regional network to deliver an additional 500 new mobile sites by mid-2018 – including 114 which will be part of the Mobile Blackspots Program.  

According to Lew, Optus continues to lead in 5G technology, delivering a state-of-the-art 5G showcase during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and last year’s world first three-channel carrier aggregation massive MIMO network in Sydney.  

“We are demonstrating our 5G expertise and progress towards our 5G fixed wireless roll-out in early 2019,” he said.

The Singtel-owned firm said earnings for the 12 months to March 31 had grown 3.9% to $2.77 billion while revenue had risen 3.4 per cent to $8.71 billion.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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