Optus registers impact of NBN HFC pause

Growth in mobile, NBN customers

Optus says that the decision in November by NBN to suspend sales of hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) services had an impact on its on Q4 results.

The telco, a subsidiary of Singtel, said that despite the suspension of HFC connections, its operating revenue for the quarter ended 31 March grew 3 per cent to $2.17 billion.

“Excluding the impact of NBN migration revenues, operating revenue was up a solid 5.5% led by strong customer growth, higher equipment sales and increased ICT & managed services revenue,” the telco said.

NBN announced in April it would end the freeze on HFC sales. The government-owned company revealed it also expected at least a short-term hit from the suspension. NBN is now taking a “conservative approach” to migrating households to the technology, aiming to release around 36,000 premises by the end of June.

Optus said Q4 net profit declined to $208 million on the back of lower NBN migration revenues.

For the full year operating revenue grew 3.4 per cent to $8.71 billion, with EBITDA up 3.9 per cent to $2.77 billion.

During the year the telco added 384,000 new mobile customers and 225,000 new NBN customers.

Optus’ ICT and managed services business registered a 2.8 per cent increase in net profit for the year to $817 million.

“This financial year Optus reached the milestone of 10 million mobile customers who are attracted to our award winning national mobile network, unique content and competitive plans,” CEO Allen Lew said in a statement.

Read more: Vodafone NZ pays NZ$3m for remaining stake in rural ISP

“We remain focused on executing our objective of delivering a premium mobile network with exclusive video content that engages Australian customers. As the exclusive domestic broadcaster for all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and with our English Premier League broadcast rights extended for a further three seasons to 2022, Optus will continue to be the home of elite soccer in Australia.” 

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