22 Feb 2021

Chorus profits drop as fibre demand grows

12:13 pm on 22 February 2021

Telecom lines company Chorus has seen a dip in profit with earnings dented by copper customers moving to fibre networks.

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Photo: Chorus

Its net profit for the six months to December was down by about a quarter on the previous period to $24 million, with a marginal drop in revenue to $473m compared with $483m a year ago.

The fall was a reflection of Chorus' old copper line customers moving to fibre supplied by other providers, some of them in areas not serviced by Chorus' fibre network.

Chorus chief executive Jean Baptiste Rousselot said it was a solid performance in an unusual period with the company seeing a slight lift in fibre uptake, with 62,000 connections added over the period.

"While strong housing growth is fuelling increased demand for fibre installations, Covid-19's effect on net migration into the country has softened demand on overall broadband connections."

Broadband connections fell from about 1,200,000n to 1,180,000, which the company said reflected the ongoing competition from alternative fibre and wireless networks.

Chorus expected its underlying profit for the year ending June to be between $640m and $660m and lifted its forecast on capital expenditure by about $30m to between $670m and $700m.

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