Optus Q4 revenue down, blames mobile termination rate cuts

Optus Q4 revenue down, blames mobile termination rate cuts

Operating revenue down 1.1 per cent as a result of tougher competition and the ACCC’s decision to reduce mobile termination rates to $0.06 per minute.

Optus has reported a 1.1 per cent decline in operating revenue in its fourth quarter amid tougher competition and the recent compulsory reduction of mobile termination rates.

Previously, mobile termination rates – a charge paid to carriers when a call connects to their mobile network – sat at $0.09 per minute. As of January this year, the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission (ACCC) lowered that rate to $0.06.

As a result, mobile service revenue declined by 2.4 per cent which dented the company’s overall operating revenue, which came in at $2.30 billion. Income service revenue was down by 3.1 per cent year-on-year as a result of lower mobile termination rates.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) was stable at $676 million while net profit was up 2.1 per cent at $267 million.

Cashflow was down 12 per cent to $370 million due to mobile and satellite network investments during the quarter.

Despite the lower fourth quarter revenue performance, Optus’ financial results for the year ending March 2012 aren’t looking too bad.

Overall operating revenue so far is at $9.37 billion, up almost one per cent. Underlying net profit is at $800 million, up 3.1 per cent.

Optus has also continued to grow its mobile customer base, adding 82,000 new postpaid customers in the fourth quarter. This brings the telco’s total mobile customer base to 9.49 million.

Its 3G subscriber base increased to 6.63 million, up 6.3 per cent from the last quarter. Around 1.58 million of those subscribers were using mobile wireless broadband.

Optus is hosting a financial results briefing later today.

More to follow.

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