Chorus to resume dividend payments
Chorus says it will resume dividend payments to its investors.
It has announced a net profit of $33 million for the six months to December. That is down from $64 million in the same period a year ago.
Despite an almost 50-percent fall in profit, the company says it is now able to resume dividend payments suspended in late 2013. That is because of the Commerce Commission's recent confirmation of the amount Chorus can charge its customers for access to its copper lines.
Chorus expects to pay a dividend of 20 cents per share, as long as there are no "material-adverse changes in circumstance or outlook". An interim dividend of 8 cents per share will be paid on April 5 to all shareholders registered at 5pm on March 22nd.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $275 million. Operating revenues were $479 million and operating expenses were $204 million.
Chorus says it connected 38,000 consumers to fibre in the six months to December. It has increased its full year forecast from 80,000 connections to between 85,000 and 95,000 connections.
The company is currently averaging 450 connections on weekdays with an aim to increase that to at least 600 connections by July. It is adding additional field crews and says it is trying to streamline the process to improve it connection rates.