Spark’s efforts to cut staff cost may help the company’s long-term profitability, but investors face short-term pain. On Wednesday the company posted a net profit of $385 million for the year. That’s down almost eight percent on the previous year’s $418 million.
When the costs of the company’s staff cuts and move to Agile working are not taken into account Spark’s ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was up 2.2 percent. Reported ebitda was down 2.7 percent at $989 million. Revenue for the year ticked up slightly by one percent to $3,649 million.
Voice revenue was down 12.7 percent for the year. That’s a faster fall than Spark has seen in the past and suggests the move away from traditional services is accelerating. Spark saw strong growth in mobile with revenues up 6.9 percent. The two sectors effectively cancelled each other with voice revenue dropping $83 million while mobile revenue climbed by the same amount.
Mobile connections are up 2.8 percent at 2.46 million while broadband connections are up 1.9 percent at 700,000.
There was a small decline in the company’s broadband revenue as customers switched to lower cost wireless broadband services. Spark’s cloud, security and service management was up 15.1 percent.
In a message from the managing director and chairman attached to the annual report Spark says the “financial performance is on plan”.
The Quantum programme appears to have begun paying off with Spark reporting a 6.7 percent decrease in labour costs.