4G growth helps boost Optus revenue

37 per cent of its customers on telco's '4G Plus' network

Image credit: Optus.

Image credit: Optus.

Optus today reported an increase of operating revenue of 4 per cent to $8.79 billion for the year, on the back of an 11 per cent revenue increase for its fourth quarter.

The telco reported revenue of $2.29 billion for the quarter ending 31 March and EBITDA of $723 million. Net profit grew 7 per cent to $239 million, the telco said.

EBITDA for the full year grew 5 per cent to $2.62 billion. Underlying net profit for the full year was $873 million, up 4 per cent.

In the fourth quarter, average revenue per user (ARPU) was up 4 per cent on the comparable quarter the year before. Mobile service revenue in the quarter grew 6 per cent to $1.21 billion.

The increase reflected growing mobile data usage and an increase in the number of customers using 4G-capable mobile devices, the telco said.

The telco added 345,000 4G subscribers in the quarter, bringing the total number to 3.53 million: 37 per cent of its mobile customers. In total, the telco has 9.43 million mobile subscribers.

As of the end of April, Optus' 4G network reached 86 per cent of Australia's population, according to the telco. Optus' 4G network is supported by 3383 mobile sites; 2107 of those have been upgraded to support the 700MHz spectrum.

Optus began last year switching on support for the 700MHz spectrum it won in the 2013 Digital Dividend auction.

Optus also reported a 3 per cent increase in its income from fixed broadband, which according to the company was driven partly by an increase in the number of National Broadband Network customers signed up with Optus.

In December Optus struck a deal to progressively hand over its HFC network to NBN.

Enterprise services

The telco also reported strong growth in its enterprise services division for the quarter.

"ICT and Managed Services revenue grew strongly by 11% from sale of hardware and continued services growth from key enterprise and government customers," states the full year results report of Optus' parent company, Singtel.

"Data and IP revenue was stable with new customer revenue turn-on being offset by continued price competition, migration of legacy data services to IP network solutions and customer-led rationalisation of services."

Revenue for voice enterprise services declined 3.8 per cent for the quarter. Mobile revenue increased 7.4 per cent, however.

During the quarter Optus signed a five-year contract with Westfield to provide Wi-Fi in shopping centres and an extension of its managed services contract with the Australian Taxation Office.

Singtel reported net profit for the year of S$3.78 billion, up 4 per cent, on the back of net profit of S$939 for the fourth quarter.

Singtel last month announced it would delist from the ASX. It will remain listed on its home exchange, SGX, and Optus won't be affected, Singtel said.

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