Aussie Broadband bumps up earnings forecast despite NBN woes

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Aussie Broadband bumps up earnings forecast despite NBN woes

Aussie Broadband has updated its earnings forecast for the full financial year despite ongoing issues with the NBN.

The company upgraded its EBITDA forecast to between $17 million to $20 million for the 2021 financial year, excluding costs incurred in its IPO of around $1 million. In comparison, the prospectus forecast was $12.3 million excluding IPO costs.

The revised forecast comes despite a less than optimistic outlook on its residential broadband segment, with strong retail average revenue per user (ARPU) growth, customer growth in its business segment, CVC management and NBN promotional rebates.

AussieBB said residential connections were impacted by increased market competition in high-speed tiers and “significant issues” with NBN Co’s connection appointment system, which it said affected the restart of new HFC connections.

“NBN appointment availability issues have also delayed other connection types, resulting in our work in progress queues significantly increasing over the past five weeks,” the company said.

“We continue to accept pre-orders for HFC services and will provision and connect these services once NBN allows HFC orders to be placed.

"These factors combined have resulted in a lower updated residential connection guidance outlined below. Relative to competitors, however, we are performing strongly and took 16.5 percent of overall NBN net adds for Q3 2021.”

Aussie Broadband also revealed an update to its white label solution announced in April, saying the implementation and onboarding of foundation customer Origin Energy has been “progressing well”. The company is also in discussions with other potential white-label customers.

The company also updated shareholders of its ongoing fibre optic network build, saying a “complex” section of the Sydney side of the build is close to completion. “The project is now running at scale, with multiple projects and site builds occurring simultaneously,” AussieBB said.

Aussie Broadband expects it would complete 28 to 31 POI and data centre sites by 30 June 2021 with a significant pipeline of work underway due for completion in the first half of FY22. It also said it has 24 customer builds in progress and over 250 prospects in the sales pipeline to reflect demand numbers.

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