4 Mar 2013

Kordia posts $2.2m profit

7:34 pm on 4 March 2013

Kordia chief executive Geoff Hunt is stepping down at the end of the month after eight years.

Mr Hunt says that the state-owned telecommunications and media company has changed significantly from when he became the boss in 2005.

Eight years ago the future of analogue television broadcasting looked "pretty blimmin' alarming", he says.

"But what we call the 'broadband transformation' has taken the business into different spaces.

"It's really got a number of platforms on which it can grow and prosper, says Mr Hunt who notes he is pleased with the position that the company has achieved.

With the broadcasting sector shrinking, economies of scale matter and Kordia has particularly targeted business services, including "high-end" telecommunications companies.

Mr Hunt says the decision by directors to replace him with two separate chief executives - Scott Bartlett in New Zealand and Peter Robson in Australia.

Each chief executive will be heading operations with about $200 million turnover, and Mr Hunt says it will be up to shareholders whether at some stage the Australian business - which started out with $A60 million turnover - will be spun off.

Strong growth in Australia has helped lift turnover for Kordia, which reported sales of $208 million in the six months to December, a rise of 11% after excluding a one-off settlement with Telecom in the previous period a year ago.

The company posted a half-year profit of $2.2 million, less than half the previous period's figure, which included the one-off settlement.

Once the settlement is excluded the profit result is flat, which Kordia says is due to setting aside money for another dispute its having with one of its customers.

Mr Hunt says sales were boosted by the firm's Australian arm winning contracts with telecommunications firms and supplying a mining operation with its communications needs.