Optus has reported a net profit of $187 million in the first quarter of 2014, a 12.3 per cent increase on the same period last year.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 4.4 per cent to $597 million for the quarter ended 30 June 2014. This was despite a 2.8 per cent decline in operating revenue.
Optus Australia country chief officer Paul O’Sullivan attributed the profit rise to popular tiered data plans such as MyPlan Plus which offers customers data share options.
However, he said that its total mobile revenue declined 1.5 per cent due to the “continuing effect” of the industry-mandated reduction in mobile termination rates.
Turning to Optus Business, O’Sullivan said its revenue declined 3 per cent to $367 million because of price competition and a decline in data revenues. However, EBITDA for the Australian enterprise business rose 2 per cent.
In May 2014, Optus Business won a five-year deal to service Westpac’s 13,000 mobile devices and managed services in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United States and United Kingdom.
The deal also covers services including the bank's ATM network, payments infrastructure and SMS gateways. The telco is delivering technology for Westpac's contact centres as well.
In February 2014, Optus Business reported revenues of $378 million for the December 2013 quarter despite declines in data and voice revenue. The biggest increase was in ICT and managed services, with revenue jumping 26 per cent to $126 million.
O’Sullivan added that the telco was responding to customer demand for 4G services with 4G pilots in Darwin and Perth which used commercial licenses on the 700MHz spectrum band.
“We’re upgrading our entire mobile network in preparation for access to 700MHz spectrum in January 2015. This will put us on track to offer 4G national coverage to 90 per cent of the Australian population by the end of March 2015. This [700MHz] spectrum will be used to bring 4G coverage to regional locations,” he said.
According to O’Sullivan, an additional 1.3 million mobile customers are now using the Optus 4G network.
Optus has been contacted for more information by Computerworld Australia Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick