Optus feels fallout from NBN’s HFC pause

Takes hit to NBN migration revenues

Optus has attributed a 1 per cent first quarter drop in its mass market fixed line operating revenue to the NBN Co-imposed temporary halt of hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) sales.

The telco said the HFC pause, which was lifted in late April, meant that it enjoyed lower NBN migration revenues during the quarter.

Excluding the fees it receives from the NBN migration process, mass market fixed revenue grew 5 per cent, with Optus revealing that over the 12 months to 30 June it had added 204,000 NBN customers for a total of 483,000.

The Singtel subsidiary reported operating revenue of $2.18 billion for the three months to 30 June, up 5.7 per cent on the first quarter of FY17, and EBITDA of $656 million, up 1.6 per cent on the prior comparable period.

Net profit after tax declined 3.5 per cent to $154 million, and underlying net profit dropped 5.9 per cent to $166 million.

The telco said that mobile revenue grew 7.9 per cent but blended mobile and postpaid handset average revenue per user (ARPU) declined 2 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, which Optus attributed to the increased popularity of SIM-only plans and data price competition.

Optus added 60,000 new mobile services during the quarter.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said the telco’s plans to rollout 5G are “well advanced”, with the telco intending to launch services based on the new standard in “early 2019”.

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