Friday, 11 November 2016 07:49

Optus profit takes a hit in second quarter

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Optus has seen a big increase in mobile customers but its profits have taken a hit in the second quarter of the financial year.

Net profit in the second quarter fell 20% to $184 million. Quarterly revenue before earnings was $633 million, a fall of 10.3% from the corresponding quarter in the previous financial year.

There was also a warning from the company that its mobile service revenue would fall by a figure in the mid-teens for the full year to end of March 2017.

The company increased postpaid handset numbers by 107,000 in the second quarter with the English Premier League soccer and data-free TV, music and films being the pull factors.

Regulatory changes that have lowered what mobile operators can charge each other to connect customers were blamed for the lower revenue and earnings.

From 1 January, mobile termination rates declined from 3.6 cents per minute to 1.7 cents per minute for calls, and 7.5 cents to 0.03 cents for SMS.

Those changes, and increased competition in the mobile market, are expected to lower mobile service revenue by a "mid-teens" number over the full 2016/17 year, Optus said.

Optus had 164,000 broadband customers on the national broadband network, more than double from a year earlier, at the end of September.

It now has a total of 1.11 million broadband customers.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said: "These first-half results reflect Optus’ efforts to drive customer growth through differentiated content.

"Optus has successfully deepened its engagement with customers, achieving a record quarter of customer growth for our branded mobile business, and strong demand for Optus’ unique entertainment content.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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