20 Feb 2017

Chorus reports half-year profit jump

1:01 pm on 20 February 2017

Telecommunications network operator Chorus has reported a doubling of its half year profit because of better earnings from its copper line network and keeping costs in check.

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Photo: RNZ

Its profit rose to $66 million in the six months to December compared with $33m the year before.

Revenue rose about 10 percent to $529m, after the Commerce Commission allowed Chorus to earn more than expected from its copper network.

Chorus is building much of the government-backed ultra fast broadband network, which it said was now dominating business, with 67,000 new fibre connections nationwide in the past six months from 55,000 in the six months in the first half of the year.

The outgoing chief executive, Mark Ratcliffe, said the number of fixed and fibre connections declined because of a competitive environment, although it remained dependable.

"While wireless broadband may be a viable option for some low data users in poor broadband coverage zones, we're confident that our fixed line network offers the rock solid reliability and consistent performance that is needed for both broadband and voice services," he said.

Chorus will pay a slightly higher interim dividend of 8.5 cents per share.

It increased its full-year operating earnings guidance by 3 percent to between $645m and $665m, and said it also expects to spend more on capital spending.

Mark Ratcliffe has been replaced by former Telstra executive Kate McKenzie.

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