Optus annual profit plummets 40% to $402M after Q4 hammering

Optus annual profit plummets 40% to $402M after Q4 hammering

Staff costs in consumer business reduced by 11.3 per cent

Credit: Optus

Optus’ annual profit has sunk by 40 per cent to $402 million after its fourth quarter saw a particular steep plummet.

The Singtel-owned telecommunications heavyweight saw its Q4 net profit fall by 83 per cent from $228 million to just $37 million for the period ended 31 March.

For the full year, also ended 31 March 2020, Optus operating revenue declined by 1.6 per cent to $9 billion.

Meanwhile, full year EBITDA also fell to $2.7 billion, a number it claimed reflected lower contributions from Optus Business and retail fixed and equipment sales revenues. 

The results follow a quarter of heavy capital investment from its Singapore-based owner, which amounted to $308 million.

This amount consisted of $176 million for mobile network and $132 million for fixed and other core infrastructure. 

Other investing cash flows in the quarter included payments of $185 million from Optus’ acquisition of 3.6 GHz spectrum.

According to the result, Optus has shaved $68 million from its staffing costs within its consumer section over the course of the year, a fall of 11.3 per cent to $529 million. 

For the quarter, Optus’ consumer operating revenue declined 8.3 per cent, with mobile service revenue falling by 5.4 per cent  on increased SIM-only customer mix, continuing data price competition and early impacts from COVID-19.

According to the balance sheet, equipment sales declined significantly by by 22 per cent as a result of lower volumes from unbundling of mobile devices from service contracts, delivery disruptions from a major logistics provider and weaker consumer sentiment in light of the bush fires and COVID-19.

The higher mix of NBN customers, which have low resale margins, was cited as factor in its overall lower margins.

The fixed NBN customer base grew by 251,000 from a year ago and accounted for 78 per cent of the total fixed broadband customer base as at 31 March 2020, a rise of around a quarter.

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