Spark saw net earnings fall 3.4 in the six months to December 31 and indicated it may miss its full year forecast, despite a revenue increase of 1.6 percent. The company share price dropped almost four percent on the news.
Shares in the country’s biggest telecommunications company closed down almost 4 per cent at $3.32 on Wednesday after it reported a small drop in its interim profit and signalled that it might miss its forecast.
Revenue totalled $1.82 billion for the period. Mobile revenue grew almost nine percent to $635. Mobile now accounts for a third of the company’s revenue and remains the largest component. Broadband took $341 million in the same period. Spark’s cloud business was a bright spot with sales up 17.5 percent to $181 million. EBITDA was down 1.7 percent.
Spark now has 2.44 million mobile connections. That’s a rise of 3.6 percent in the half year and, in effect, puts the company on a level footing with Vodafone for the first time in decades. The all-important average revenue per user was up 1.8 percent at $22.28. Spark says this was due to customers moving to higher cost unlimited data plans. It said the Skinny brand also saw growth
Vocus Group’s New Zealand business reports a faster revenue of 4.1 percent to $182.6 million over the same half year period. The company’s enterprise and wholesale operation saw its sales climb 10 percent, consumer revenue was down 1.1 percent. The company’s New Zealand business is up for sale with an agreement likely to be reached in the next six months.
The highlight for Vocus was a 1.5 percent increase in broadband customers and a 63 percent jump in fibre customers, although copper service users dropped 14 percent. Vocus says it now has a 13 percent share of the UFB market, that’s up on last year’s 12 percent and marks real progress in an area which shifts often take place at a glacial pace.
Like Spark, the company saw its base EBITDA fall. However, Vocus wanted other costs taken into account, which means a rise in EBITDA of 2.1 percent.