18 Feb 2016

Spark mobile boosts first-half profit

11:39 am on 18 February 2016

Spark has reported an improved first-half profit after a lift in mobile revenue and a fall in costs.

Spark New Zealand

Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The telecommunications company's net profit for the six months ended December was $158 million compared with last year's $147 million, a rise of 9 percent.

A spokesperson said revenue was down 4 percent because of changes to the business, but operating expenses were down nearly 7 percent.

Spark earned more from broadband connections and providing IT services for businesses such as data centres and cloud storage, the spokesperson said.

It also gained mobile customers, but was still losing fixed line connections.

"Notably, for the first time in many years, mobile and IT services' revenue growth excluding divestments and regulatory changes has more than offset ongoing decline in landline voice and legacy data products," chairman Mark Verbiest said.

Spark expected its full-year operating earnings to rise 3 percent on last year, and was planning to pay a full-year dividend of 22 cents a share and a special dividend of three cents a share.

Spark shares rose five cents to $3.26 after the result.