28 Jan 2015

Spark takes next step to improve fortunes

7:45 am on 28 January 2015

Phone retailer Spark is about to take the next step in improving its fortunes in the competitive telecommunications market.

The listed company had been cutting costs and focusing on higher value broadband and mobile phone services since splitting from its network arm Chorus in 2011.

Chief executive Simon Moutter said that programme was coming to an end, and the company would then aim to create an online platform to deliver new services to customers.

Forsyth Barr analyst Blair Galpin suspected the new programme would be about creating services that linked customers to their appliances at home through their phone.

But he said it would not be easy to translate into high margin earnings.

"I suspect it's more around what you're seeing more overseas, which is the philosophy around the connected home.

"Examples being your lighting connected to an application on your phone, and your fridge telling you when need more milk."

As part of the changes, Spark Ventures head Rod Snodgrass would oversee the new programme and chief financial officer Jolie Hodson would take responsibility for the Skinny and Big Pipe businesses which currently sat in the Ventures unit.

Meanwhile, one of Spark's long-serving executives, Chris Quin announced he would leave in June.

He would be replaced by Spark's Jason Paris, who worked under Mr Quin.

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