Australia hits Telecom profits

5 May 2006

Telecom New Zealand has seen a 19% fall in net earnings to NZD222 million in the three months to the end of March. The firm’s Australian subsidiary AAPT was at the heart of the decline, reporting a 63% fall in EBITDA to AUD15 million, but Telecom says it is committed to revitalising the struggling unit with planned annual investment of NZD115 million. Telecom’s revenues climbed 1.8% year-on-year to NZD1.45 billion. The telco added 44,000 net new retail broadband customers to take its total base to 384,000, with a further 88,000 wholesale connections. Mobile subscriptions were up 23% over twelve months to reach 1.878 million at the end of March, while residential access line numbers were stable at 1.415 million. Telecom’s share price has continued to tumble this week after the New Zealand government announced tough new regulatory measures would be introduced to govern local loop infrastructure. The firm has seen around NZD1.6 billion wiped from its market capitalisation in just two days, with a 15% drop in its share price.

New Zealand, Spark