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Optus Q1 Profit Falls 11.9%

Optus’ net profit fell 11.9 per cent in the first quarter, ended June 30, while the telco attributed a decline in operating revenue in part to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) regulated reduction of industry mobile termination rates.

Optus’ net profit for the quarter totalled $173 million, while operating revenue of $2 billion was down 12.9 per cent year-on-year. Underlying net profit of $194 million was down 1.9 per cent year-on-year, which Optus attributed to higher financing costs.

Optus stated that the operating revenue declines were driven by the ACCC’s regulated reduction of industry mobile termination rates from January 1 this year, higher service credits associated with device repayment plans and lower equipment sales.

Optus’ postpaid customer segment saw additions of 19,000 for the quarter, while Optus stated that higher churn from the introduction of customer identification verification regulations contributed to a 24,000 decline in its prepaid customer base.

During the quarter, Optus added 257,000 4G customers, reaching 4.93 million at the end of June, with 4G Plus customers now accounting for 53 per cent of its total mobile customer base.

Optus stated that its 4G Plus network is now available at 5,155 regional and metropolitan sites, reaching 95 per cent of Australians at the end of July.

Optus now has 136,000 NBN customers, up from 54,000 year-on-year, and has a total of 1.08 million broadband customers.

“This was a very busy quarter, as price competition remained intense, especially in the MVNO market,” Optus chief executive officer Allen Lew commented.

“We’ve competed effectively with our branded, wholesale and fixed line products, and have focused on delivering a quality live video experience, starting with the launch of the Optus Sport channel in early July.”

Lew stated that Optus in the coming quarters “will continue to strengthen and expand its national 4G network and enhance its fixed network to deliver a market-leading, multimedia entertainment experience for customers”.

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