TPG lifts profit but warns of NBN pressure

TPG lifts profit but warns of NBN pressure

TPG lifts profit but warns of NBN pressure

"Implementation of some initial site clusters in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra is now expected to be complete by mid-2018".

"Aside from spectrum purchases, there has not yet been any significant mobile network expenditure".

Mobile subscribers decreased by 30,000, affecting both TPG and iiNet.

Australian telecom services provider TPG Telecom Ltd on Tuesday posted an annual net profit that rose 9 percent and topped estimates, but said it expects fiscal year 2018 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to be lower than the prior year.

Underlying EBITDA for 2017 increased 8% to $835 million, or $5 million above the top end of the $820 million to $830 million guidance range and the $831 million consensus.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) for TPG's NBN customers sits at $66, about $1.20 less than a year ago. Data and internet accounted for $526 million of TPG's 2017 corporate revenue, with voice at $147 million and legacy iiNet contributing $69.8 million.

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Broadband subscribers numbered 1.936 million in total, 979,000 from iiNet and 957,000 from TPG.

iiNet's broadband subscribers decreased by 4000, while NBN subscriptions increased by 142,000, again eating away at former ADSL customers.

The telco said today that its own-brand NBN subscribers grew to 262,000 at the end of July, while iiNet's base came in at 299,000.

The company also cut dividends, retaining cash to help build Australia's fourth mobile network at a cost of about $1.9 billion. It had said in March, when announcing its half-year earnings, that it is predicting to spend between S$200 million and S$300 million for the rollout of its mobile network here.

It also spent AU$100 million on an "acceleration" of its AU$900 million deal with Vodafone Australia to build out a 4,000-kilometre fibre network, which it said is on schedule and on budget to be completed during FY18, as well as on the acquisition of additional worldwide capacity.

"The network would provide broad coverage across densely populated areas of the country with approximately 2,000 to 2,500 sites".

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