29 Aug 2016

Chorus full-year profit flat

1:31 pm on 29 August 2016

Telecommunications network operator Chorus has reported a flat full-year profit as a fall in fixed line business was offset by increased broadband connections.

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Chorus wants to hire another 250 staff by the end of the year. Photo: RNZ

The company's net profit for the year to June was $91 million, unchanged from the year before.

Its operating earnings were marginally lower at $594m but revenue was also flat at a little more than $1 billion.

Chorus chief executive Mark Ratcliffe said the company was getting back to normal, after the Commerce Commission made its final decision on the prices Chorus can charge to connect to its networks.

"The combination of greater regulatory clarity and operating momentum has allowed Chorus to return to managing its business for long term shareholder value."

However he said the regulated prices were still below where they were when Chorus split from Telecom in 2011, and this was making the company cautious.

"While the final copper pricing outcome was an improvement on the benchmarked pricing, it has not restored our financial position to demerger levels, and the regulatory framework that may apply from 2020 remains far from clear. We are therefore continuing to take a measured approach to ongoing investment."

Chorus said it had built 57 percent of the government backed ultra fast broadband network, and had 19,000 new broadband connections but the number of traditional fixed lines had fallen by 67,000.

Mr Ratcliffe said Chorus wanted to hire another 250 staff by the end of the year to speed up connections and fix faults.

The company has forecast an operating profit of between $625m to $640m for the coming 12 months, up as much as seven percent on the year just gone.

Mr Ratcliffe has also given notice he plans to leave the company around the middle of next year.

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