Optus operating revenue hits $9.28 billion

The telco's strong financial results were underpinned by its solid performance by its mobile services division

Optus has increased its operating revenue by 4 per cent to $9.28 billion for the 2011 financial year ending March 31.

SingTel Group, the umbrella company Optus falls under, reported a 4 per cent revenue rise to $S4.64 billion in the fourth quarter year-on-year.

But net profit for the group fell by 2 per cent to $S3.83 billion ($1 in Singapore = $0.76 in Australia) due to net loss related acquisition financing cost for Bharti Africa. Such investments were essential to capture new growth opportunities despite having a short-term impact on earnings, according to SingTel Group CEO, Chua Sock Koong.

Optus was a strong performer, contributing to 34 per cent of SingTel Group’s earnings before tax. It rose by 10 per cent in the fourth quarter to $672 million while net profit grew by 19 per cent to $261 million.

The telco’s full year earnings before tax were $9.28 billion; up 8 per cent. Net profit increased by 15 per cent to $776 million.

Mobile revenue jumped by 8 per cent with average revenue per user (ARPU) stable at $47. The company added 103,000 new mobile customers in the fourth quarter with a total of 570,000 new user for financial year 2011.

Optus now has nine million mobile customers overall.

The business and wholesale fixed-line business experienced a 2 per cent rise in revenue and reported earnings before tax in that segment was up by 20 per cent.

In the consumer and SMB fixed-line space, Optus’ Pay-TV service dragged on-net revenue down by 1 per cent but earnings before tax grew by 7 per cent to $61 million.

On-net broadband revenue was up 3 per cent with total on-net customer numbers reaching 960,000 in the fourth quarter; a 4 per cent growth year on year.

Optus attributed the numbers to the popularity of the telco’s Fusion home phone and mobile bundle plans.

Optus CEO, Paul O’Sullivan, confirmed the company will continue making its $1 billion investment to improve its network in the next financial year.

SingTel projects Optus’ earnings before tax will grow at “low single digit levels” in financial year 2012 with free cash flow expected to be above $1 billion and capital expenditure to be around $1.2 billion.