Datafast notches up record profit, looks to VoIP and BPL

Datafast notches up record profit, looks to VoIP and BPL

Datafast Telecommunications has announced a "record profit" this year, more than doubling last years' earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

The national ISP has recorded $4.1 million EBITDA and an after-tax net profit of $307,000 sales revenue of $27 million, a 45 percent increase on last year's figures.

CEO Simon Ehrenfeld said Datafast's continuing acquisition strategy fuelled the result.

John Lane, Datafast's general manager, said that although most growth comes from retail, the wholesale business is an important aspect in the ISP's acquisition strategy, which is "all about consolidation".

"We look at being in the wholesale sector as a way of keeping contact with a number of ISPs. We service about a third of Australia's ISPs, so when they want to exit, we're in the box seat," he said.

"We weren't a wholesale supplier of (Perth-based) Arachnet (recently acquired by Amcom) so we missed out on that one, and Chariot was a wholesale supplier for Alphalink, so that tends to be how it happens."

Datafast and Chariot terminated their merger implementation agreement last week.

Chariot also released its financial figures this week stating a $581,000 loss after providing $1.95 million in goodwill write-offs. Its sales revenue increased by 14.5 percent to $21.4 million.

In addition to positioning itself to take advantage of consolidation within the service provider market, Lane predicts VoIP will be a large growth area for Datafast.

To test this market, Datafast has announced a large-scale commercial trial of broadband over powerline (BPL) in Tasmania. The trial is in conjunction with Mitsubishi Electric and Aurora Energy and will offer broadband data and VoIP services via existing power points in Hobart homes. Some homes will also be trialing video-via-power-point. If the trial is successful in Hobart it will be rolled out to other parts of the state.

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