Australia’s TPG Telecom has released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2021, claiming a ‘solid result against industry headwinds’, while suggesting it saw ‘positive momentum into 2022’. For the twelve-month period under review, the company reported a total turnover of AUD5.293 billion (USD3.8 billion), down 3.1% year-on-year, noting that declines in service revenues – which fell by 4% to AUD4.389 billion – had been only partially offset by hardware revenue growth. EBITDA of AUD1.731 billion was reported for FY 2021, representing a 3.2% drop against its previous fiscal year. It noted too that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Broadband Scheme (RBS) levy and the National Broadband Network (NBN) had not been fully offset by opex savings. Citing the impact of the drop in EBITDA, meanwhile, it posted a net profit after tax of AUD110 million for FY21, down 10.6% y-o-y.
With regards to its operational performance, TPG Telecom said it had seen momentum returning in the mobile sector, recording a net increase in subscriptions since November 2021, as international travellers began to return to Australia. Nonetheless, the company ended the year with 5.02 million mobile subscriptions on its books, down 4.0% on an annualised basis, with it attributing this decline predominantly to COVID-related restrictions on international travel. An update on the company’s 5G network rollout was also offered, with the operator confirming that during 2021 it had converted more than 1,000 sites to 5G, while it noted that alongside the introduction of its 5G standalone (SA) network and introduction of 700MHz spectrum, it had achieved 5G coverage of ‘85% of the population in Australia’s top ten cities’. Looking ahead, the operator is targeting a further 1,000+ sites in 2022, while it expects its network upgrade to 5G to be ‘largely complete’ in 2025.
Meanwhile, in the fixed sector TPG Telecom highlighted strong momentum related to fixed wireless broadband services, and reported 80,000 subscriptions to its 4G- and 5G-based home broadband service as of end-2021, up just 5,000 from a year earlier, while it said it aims to more than double the latest figure by the end of 2022. Total fixed broadband subscriptions increased to 2.222 million as of 31 December 2021, up from 2.172 million as of end-2020, with the lion’s share of these – 1.936 million, up from 1.902 million – connecting via the NBN. On-net fixed broadband subscriptions remained static, standing at 135,000 as of 31 December 2021, but TPG Telecom did say it aims to increase that figure to around 150,000 by end-2022.
Commenting on the company’s performance, TPG Telecom CEO Inaki Berroeta said: ‘2021 was a year of significant progress as we unified our operations and demonstrated strong operating and financial discipline to navigate the challenging COVID operating environment and position ourselves strongly for improving market conditions.’