Optus records strong Q3 growth

Record post paid customer growth, declines in fixed-line business

Singtel (ASX:SGT) is reporting its Australian subsidiary, Optus, has recorded strong growth for the quarter ending December 31, 2009.

The telco recorded revenue growth of 4.8 per cent over the previous quarter to $2.3 billion and operational EBITDA growth up 3.6 per cent over the previous quarter to $529 million. Net profit was up 16 per cent over the same period to $165 million

During the quarter Optus also recorded record post paid customer growth of 164,000 users, resulting in the post paid customer base exceeding four million.

Optus’ revenue from mobile customers grew 10 per cent quarter on quarter to $1.46 million, however business and wholesale fixed voice revenues declined three per cent to $500 million and and consumer and SMB fixed revenues declined three per cent to $346 million.

In an ASX-statement, Singtel said it had tightened its churn policy for customers who remained inactive after various recharge campaigns, and deactivated 272,000 prepaid customers.

This resulted in a decline of 145,000 Optus prepaid customers for a total of 4.2 million as at December 31, 2009.

“Customer growth was achieved through Optus’ compelling propositions including refreshed wireless broadband plans, smartphone plans, unique content and applications and industry leading ‘Timeless’ plans,” the statement reads.

During the quarter the number of Optus’ 3G customers increased to 3.34 million, an 8.7 per cent increase from the previous quarter.

Singtel also noted that Optus had contracted to acquire 10MHz of paired spectrum in the 2100MHz band from Qualcomm.

It also signed a $160 million deal with Dodo to provide it with wholesale voice and wireless broadband services over four years.

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