PowerTel to chalk up first net profit

A stronger channel ethic and overhauled management team will help telecommunications provider, PowerTel, chalk up its first net profit for the half-year to June 30.

In an ASX statement, the company projected EBITDA of $15 million and $17 million on half-yearly revenues of up to $101 million. This contrasts with a net loss of $9.4 million on revenue of $94.8 million in the same six-month period last year.

Marketing manager, Glen Christensen, said it originally expected to make a profit next year. He attributed the achievement to a company-wide restructure last year including the appointment of managing director, Paul Broad.

One of the first initiatives implemented by the new team was to set a clearly defined line between channel and direct sales. All customers with annual services spending below $500,000 are now automatically referred to partners. PowerTel's channel business was established through its acquisition of Request DSL in 2003.

"The decision was made to have a national business focus on supporting channels," Christensen said. "We've since seen an increase in the services they are buying."

The recent launch of PowerTel's upgraded national VoIP offering would also bring new sales opportunities and customers, he said. Partners can choose to brand any of its services. The telco has also implemented an online ordering system to make it easier for partners to provision services.

Christensen said the company was looking to actively grow its offerings for channel partners. He hoped the new services would see its base of 180 partners increase significantly.

On top of this, PowerTel was on the hunt for more complementary acquisitions. Any potential purchase that offered additional customers without massive infrastructure investment would be considered, Christensen said.