19 Feb 2020

Smart numbers: Data sales drive Spark's $167m profit

10:58 am on 19 February 2020

The telecommunications company Spark has made a larger profit off a big boost in mobile sales, with the company's bottom line rising 9.2 percent to $167 million in the six months ended December.

Smartphones in a shop. Technology shopping.

Customers are snapping up new cellphones, driving up Spark's profit over the last six months of 2019. Photo: 123RF

Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.82 billion with increased margins in the mobile, broadband and cloud divisions.

But sales continued to decline in the legacy fixed-line voice division.

"We are heading into the second half with great momentum and some stand-out performances across our core segments," chief executive Jolie Hodson said.

"We outperformed our growth targets in mobile, with a shift to unlimited and high value plans."

Hodson said broadband operating revenue was expected to be flat.

"We made a deliberate decision to limit wireless broadband sales in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, as a conservative measure to ensure customers had a great viewing experience while we introduced our new streaming service.

"Our capacity was more than sufficient, so we expect this to be a one-off and connection growth to return to trend in the second half."

Costs increased about 5 percent in the period as it launched new businesses and improved the Spark Sport streaming platform.

It sold its content streaming platform, Lightbox, to Sky Network Television in the period, and divested the network assets of its cloud service provider, Computer Concepts.

It said it would join the auction to buy reallocated radio spectrum in March, for the rollout of its 5G mobile network.

"This groundwork stands us in good stead as we work to close out the financial year and look ahead to the next three years," Hodson said.

Spark would release the details of its next three-year strategy in April.

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