New Zealand-based wholesale fixed line provider Chorus has announced its financial results for the twelve months ended 30 June 2020, reporting a decline in annual revenue to NZD959 million (USD627 million) from 2019’s NZD970 million and a NZD1 million drop in net profit to NZD52 million. EBITDA rose NZD12 million year-on-year to NZD648 million ‘despite the operational restrictions and financial impact of COVID-19’, thanks to an NZD23 million reduction in operating expenses to NZD311 million and a focus on ‘reshaping the business for a fibre-centric future’. Capital expenditure, meanwhile, was NZD141 million lower at NZD663 million following the completion of phase one of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB1) programme and the suspension of nonessential deployment and connection activity during the lockdown. The company ended the year with 751,000 active fibre connections, up from 610,000 a year earlier, while total broadband connections rose by a net 10,000 to 1.206 million. The company’s fixed line base fell by 35,000 to 1.415 million.
Chorus CEO JB Rousselot commented: ‘This year saw our broadband infrastructure pass its greatest ever test. The COVID-19 pandemic meant New Zealanders were heavily reliant on our copper and fibre networks to keep connecting, working and learning through months of change and uncertainty. I’m proud of how our business, and our people, rose to the challenge presented by the pandemic. They helped deliver strong operational results and further cemented broadband’s role as an essential utility for all New Zealanders.’
Chorus forecasts flat EBITDA of between NZD640 million and NZD660 million in 2021 and capital expenditure of NZD630 million to NZD670 million.