18 Aug 2017

Spark reports increase in full year profit

4:32 pm on 18 August 2017

Spark has reported an increase in full-year profit, with an improved performance in the mobile and information technology divisions.

Spark signage

Spark signage Photo: RNZ / Calvin Samuel

The telecommunications and digital services company's net profit rose 13 percent to $418 million in the year ended in June, up from $370m last year.

The result included a $20m one-time gain from the sale of surplus land in Auckland.

Spark managing director Simon Moutter said it was a solid result with reasonable revenue growth and profit.

Revenue rose just over 3 percent to $600m.

The company's wireless broadband connections rose almost 17 percent to 84,000, while fibre connections grew by almost 74 percent to 172,000.

He said more than a third of Spark's customers were off the copper network.

"We really did a lot better work ... in delivering for customers and that's been driven by a fantastic performance in mobile and wireless broadband products and the big IT services that we do around cloud IT for big business and government customers," he said.

However, he said the fixed broadband business had been tough with increasing competition and shrinking margins.

Mr Moutter said Spark would also be investing more in the development of digital services in the current year to deliver stronger growth in the future.

Spark will pay a dividend of 25 cents per share to shareholders.

The company's outlook for 2018 was for steady revenue growth of up to 3 percent and up to 2 percent in underlying profit growth.

It also announced Mark Verbiest would stand down as the board chair in November, after six years in the role. He will be replaced by board director Justine Smyth.

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