Mobile broadband driving Vodafone Hutchinson Australia revenue

Newly-merged entity says a third of revenue per user comes from 3G as it posts first results to the ASX

Mobile broadband services account for a third of the average revenue per user for the newly-formed Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA) entity.

The ASX-listed Hutchinson Telecommunications Australia (ASX:HTA), which operates the 3 brand, announced a merger with Vodafone in February, which was given approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in May.

Since then Hutchinson has picked up 4,275,000 Vodafone customers, taking its total to 6,311,000, 55.5 per cent of which are now post-paid.

In a statement to the ASX, the telco said its profit for the first half of 2009 – which it said reflects the completion of the merger transaction with five months of actual results of the “3” business and one month of an equity accounted result for the VHA entity – hit $552 million with total revenues up 19.4 per cent to $912 million.

Hutchinson would have posted a net loss of $35.3 million without achieving a gain on the merger of $587.3 million.

VHA now has 926,000 mobile broadband subscribers with 3G services increasing by 45.2 per cent to create non-voice revenue of $303 million. This means non-voice services contribute 33.8 per cent or $21.18 in average revenue per user.

In the statement, VHA CEO, Nigel Dews pointed to the company’s positive cash flow as a strength.

“We are particularly pleased with our growth in mobile broadband subscriptions and we see great potential for growth in this area,” he said in the statement.

The company also expects its June decision to bring all its 208 Vodafone-branded retail outlets in-house, with all current retail staff to be offered ongoing employment contracts, to drive further cost savings going forward.