Chorus profit drops, weaker earnings expected

  • 24/08/2015
Chorus profit drops, weaker earnings expected

Annual profit for telecommunications network operator Chorus has declined 39 percent and the company anticipates weaker earnings in the 2016 financial year.

Net profit dropped to $91 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from $148m, a year earlier, it said.

That was below Forsyth Barr's estimate for profit of $103.7m.

Revenue fell 4.9 percent to $1 billion, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 7.2 percent to $602m, in line with expectations.

Chorus' adjusted Ebitda, which seeks to smooth the impact of the regulated prices, increased 5.2 percent to $546m.

The company anticipates a modest decline in 2016 earnings due to uncertainty over the final outcome of the Commerce Commission's ruling on the price Chorus can charge for access to its copper lines.

"The business initiatives we implemented in managing for cash have delivered results ahead of target for the year, going some way towards offsetting the very significant reduction in regulated pricing," chief executive Mark Ratcliffe said.

"This together with the slightly improved draft copper pricing, has helped the share price recover some value, although we remain unable to pay a dividend."

Chorus suspended dividends when it renegotiated the terms of Crown funding for the ultrafast broadband fibre network over regulatory uncertainty on the copper access prices.

Separately, Chorus announced former Transpower chief executive Patrick Strange will assume the chair form September 1, replacing Jon Hartley who has been interim chairman since April.

Chorus shares last traded at $2.75, and have increased 3.4 percent this year.