TPG reports financial results amid criticism of planned iiNet acquisition

24 Mar 2015

Alternative Australian operator TPG Telecom has published its results for the first half of its 2014/2015 financial year, with the company reporting net profit after tax of AUD106.7 million (USD88.9 million), a figure representing year-on-year growth of 18%.

In the three months ended 31 January 2015 TPG generated a total turnover of AUD627.3 million, up from AUD394.6 million, with the increase driven by higher corporate revenues as a result of its acquisition of AAPT, which it completed in early 2014. Indeed, corporate turnover in the period under review stood at AUD319.3 million, up from AUD121.9 million in the corresponding period of its 2014 fiscal year. In the consumer sector, meanwhile, revenues from both broadband and mobile services increased year-on-year, rising by 14.4% and 6.4%, respectively.

EBTIDA stood at AUD236.2 million in H1 2015, representing a 43% year-on-year increase, with consumer division EBITDA totalling AUD117.1 million, up from AUD100.2 million a year earlier, and the corporate division recording an 82.5% year-on-year increase to AUD117.7 million.

In operational terms, at the end of January 2015 TPG’s consumer broadband subscriber base was 786,000, up from 707,000 a year earlier, with the bulk of those – 512,000 – classed as ‘ADSL Bundle’ subscribers, up from 412,000 a year earlier. Standalone ADSL accesses numbered 189,000, down from 220,000 at end-January 2014, while off-net standalone ADSL connections totalled 66,000, against 75,000 a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of broadband customers connected via fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) or the National Broadband Network (NBN) was 19,000, up from 2,000 reported in July 2014.

In separate but related news, TPG Telecom has insisted that its proposed AUD1.4 billion acquisition of rival internet service provider (ISP) iiNet would be good for the latter’s shareholders, despite recent opposition from some investors. Australia’s ABC cites TPG’s chief financial officer Stephen Banfield as saying: ‘We’re disappointed by the reaction of certain shareholders given our genuine belief that we’re proposing a great deal for iiNet shareholders … TPG has offered a full and fair value for iiNet.’ Such a statement comes amid concerns from iiNet’s shareholders that should the deal move forward it could impact on iiNet’s one million-plus subscribers and the level of customer service they currently receive. Notably, iiNet founder and former CEO Michael Malone has come out vocally against the deal, saying during an investor conference held to discuss the deal: ‘I believe that this deal is incomplete, unprofessional and reflects poor diligence – it’s been ten days since the deal was announced and you now think it’s time to talk to shareholders.’ While the deal has been recommended by the iiNet board, it requires the support of at least 75% of the Perth-based telco’s shareholders, with a vote expected to take place in June 2015.

Australia, iiNet (incl. Internode), TPG Corporation (incl. iiNet, Internode and AAPT)