Wednesday, 15 May 2019 12:06

Optus annual profits plunge, but rebound for the quarter Featured


Australia’s second largest telco Optus has suffered a drop in net profits for the year that ended on 31 March, with profits plunging by 15.8% on the previous year.

The telco saw its profits dive from $782 million for the full year 2018 to $659 million for FY 2019, with the drop largely attributed by Optus to “temporary suspension” of NBN HFC migrations.

"Net profit was lower due mainly to the impact of the temporary suspension of nbn HFC migrations together with higher depreciation and amortisation costs and exceptional items as Optus continues to transform its business," the telco said in its results announced on Wednesday.

For the quarter, Optus reported EBITDA was up 6% to $748 million, with net profit increasing by 12% to $228 million.

And the telco said it had recorded “strong results” for the quarter, with operating revenue up 7% to $2,303 million driven by customer growth, higher equipment sales and higher NBN migration revenue following the resumption of NBN HFC migrations.

Optus reported mobile revenue increased 9% which it said reflected strong customer growth, with 126,000 post-paid mobile subscribers added for the quarter.

And in Mass Market Fixed, operating revenue was up 19%, with Optus said was due to higher NBN migration payments and continued NBN customer growth, with 50,000 new customers added in the quarter.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said Optus achieved a very strong performance in the fourth quarter “underpinned by a relentless focus on delivering exceptional network and customer value to drive customer growth and engagement”.

“We continue to differentiate ourselves through our exclusive content strategy,” Lew said.

“Optus content more than doubled with the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, Euro 2020 and the UEFA Nations League. The next few weeks will be an exciting time for football fans as we broadcast the all-EPL finals of the Champions League and Europa League and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.”

The telco pointed to the fact that Optus Sport would be the only broadcaster covering all 52 matches of the Women’s World Cup and had also launched its improved NatGeo app, featuring Optus’ exclusive content “Only in OZ”.

The telco also said it had cemented its 5G “leadership position” by announcing Australia’s first commercial broadband service — Optus 5G Home Broadband — and completing a “ground breaking 5G video call, with augmented reality, between Singapore and Australia”.

“Optus is scaling its 5G network in preparation for a broader commercial launch later this year which will start to see this exciting next generation technology in the homes and hands of our customers,” Lew concluded.

Financial Highlights:

Optus 2019 results

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a 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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