AAPT revenues continue to slide

But EBITDA improves, helped by reduced inter-carrier costs and outsourcing of local call centre staff

AAPT has reported a $130 million decline in revenues to $668 million for the nine months to 31 March with almost across the board drops.

Local service, calling, interconnection, mobile, broadband and Internet, resale, and internal revenues all declined. Only data – up 3.1 per cent to $100 million - and other operating revenue – static at $14 million - didn’t decline during the period.

Of the declines, mobile revenue was the most dramatic dropping 28 per cent to $18 million, followed by calling revenue which dropped 24.3 per cent to $165 million, and Resale, which declined 19.4 per cent to $166 million.

EBITDA for the period grew 21.2 per cent to $80 million.

On the operating expenses side, inter-carrier costs during the period declined 21.3 per cent to $351 million and other operating expenses declined 12.5 per cent to $98 million driven by the culling of local call centre staff in favour of a Manilla based call centre. Data storage costs reductions, IT support contract renegotiations and lower bad debt expenses also contributed.

Commenting on the results in its own annual results report, parent company Telecom New Zealand said AAPT’s Australian Wholesale operation had over the past nine months been focusing on ‘on-net’ data and Internet sales and securing key clients to reduce overall exposure to declines in the traditional calling business.

AAPT’s Business Solutions operation had focused on selling ‘on-net’ products, especially data and Internet, to a more narrowly defined market segment.

The Consumer operation had focused on selling broadband, voice and mobile services to the small and home office and residential segment.

Telecom New Zealand did not comment on prior speculation that it was considering selling AAPT other than to state that its revised revenue outlook provided to the market in April included revenues from AAPT on the assumption that it would be retained.

Telecom New Zealand’s wider results for the nine months to 31 March 2010 were 3.936 billion, down 7.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2009. EBITDA was up 5.9 per cent to 1.336 billion over the same period.

In April AAPT attempted to spell out what it meant by ‘unlimited’ broadband plans.

In March the telco said the Australian market was ripe for new entrants.

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