Australia’s NBN Co has reported what it called a set of ‘strong financial results’ for the year ended 30 June 2021, with the company noting that its ‘predicable, sustainable cashflow creates a solid platform that enables the company to continue to progress and accelerate its network investment plan for the benefit of customers’.
For the twelve-month period under review, NBN Co generated a total turnover of AUD4.629 billion (USD3.39 billion), representing annualised growth of 21% from the AUD3.837 billion recorded in FY 2020. Driving this revenue growth was the addition of 933,000 premises being newly connected to the National Broadband Network (NBN) in FY21, the company said.
Meanwhile, NBN Co reported EBITDA of AUD1.355 billion for its most recent fiscal year, exceeding its guidance and marking a significant improvement from the negative EBITDA of AUD648 million in FY20. According to the company, the ‘solid outcome’ in terms of EBITDA performance was based on strong revenue growth and a reduction in subscriber payments; NBN Co’s subscriber payments to Telstra and Optus halved in the year to 30 June, to AUD1.226 billion in FY21. Despite the improvements in revenue and EBITDA, NBN Co again posted a net loss, though this narrowed from AUD5.239 billion in FY20 to AUD3.837 billion in FY21, with the latter figure again exceeding the company’s guidance.
With regards to operational highlights, NBN Co ended its financial year with a total of 8.2 million active premises, up from 7.3 million a year earlier, while the number of premises classified as ready to connect rose only marginally, from 11.7 million to 12.0 million, as the initial network build was completed in June 2020. While that initial rollout has been concluded, the company said it was making ‘good progress’ on its AUD4.5 billion Network Investment Plan that was announced in September 2020, under which it aims to expand its ‘Home Ultrafast’ wholesale speed tier, capable of achieving peak wholesale download speeds of up to 1Gbps, to up to 75% of premises on the fixed line network by 2023.
In line with faster speeds being made available across the network, NBN Co said that customer demand for the higher speed tiers remained strong throughout FY21, with 75% of customers on retail plans based on wholesale download speed tiers of 50Mbps and above as of 30 June 2021. Meanwhile, on the back of its ‘Focus on Fast’ marketing campaign, which launched on 1 February 2021 to support retailers and encourage customers to upgrade to higher speed tiers, the wholesale operator claimed that by 30 June 2021 17% of residential customers were using plans based on wholesale speed tiers offering download speeds of up to 100Mbps and above, compared to 9% of premises on such speeds a year earlier.