Monday 22nd February 2021
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Chorus today reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $24m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $323m for the half year ending 31 December 2020. This was a decrease on the same six months to 31 December 2019, largely reflecting the continued migration of customers from legacy copper services to alternative networks, particularly in non-Chorus fibre network areas.
Operating revenue for the period was $473m (HY20: $483m) and operating expenses were $150m (HY20: $151m). Depreciation and amortisation was $209m (HY20: $198m), delivering earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $114m (HY20: $134m).
Solid growth in fibre connections and uptake
Chorus CEO JB Rousselot said performance during an unusual first six months of the financial year has been solid. Fibre uptake lifted from 60% to 63% with 62,000 fibre connections added in the six months. While strong housing growth is fuelling increased demand for fibre installations, COVID-19’s effect on net migration into the country has softened demand on overall broadband connections.
“Auckland’s most recent lockdown has again emphasised the need for a reliable, congestion-free and unlimited broadband connection in the home”, said Mr Rousselot.
“With this in mind, I’m delighted that the second phase of our fibre build, UFB2, continues to track ahead of schedule and is now taking the socio-economic benefits of fibre to many smaller communities. Some of the more remote townships that can now connect to this unmatched broadband technology include Fox Glacier, National Park and Mokau.
“As in the larger centres, those upgrading to fibre in these communities can typically get fibre installed for free and comparison websites highlight the diverse range of sharp retail offers available to new fibre customers.”
Chorus will pay an interim dividend of 10.5 cents per share, fully imputed, on 13 April 2021 to all shareholders registered at 5pm on 16 March 2021. A dividend reinvestment plan will apply for the interim dividend at a discount rate of 2%. Applications to participate must be received by 5pm (NZ time) on 17 March 2021.
• EBITDA: unchanged at $640 - $660 million (tracking towards the lower half)
• Capital expenditure: Gross capex increased to $670 - $700 million from prior range of $630 to $670 million
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