Less Apple, more Telstra pays off for Vita Group

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Less Apple, more Telstra pays off for Vita Group

Vita Group has returned to profit following a refocus on its Telstra resellers and closing some of its under-performing Apple reseller stores.

The publicly listed telecommunications reseller reported profits of $25.4 million, following last year’s loss of $4.6 million. Sales also cracked $601 million, a growth of $150 million, or 34 percent from last year.

It follows a $700,000 earnings loss from Vita Group’s Apple business, Next Byte, which continues to drag down profits. Revenue at Next Byte was down 20 percent to $59.9 million, compared with $541.5 million in sales from retail, SMB and enterprise businesses.

Vita Group closed down two Next Byte locations in the Melbourne and Brisbane CBDs this year after Apple opened stores in both locations, in direct competition with its partner.

Vita has been refurbishing some Next Byte stores to better emulate Apple's design aesthetic and these V2 outlets were a bright spot in the division, with revenue up nine percent.

Chief executive Maxine Horne cited strong performance from its Telstra stores, as well as the launch of the iPhone 6, for the financial turnaround this year. Vita Group now operates 109 Telstra and Telstra Business Centre retail stores, as well as 17 Fone Zone stores.

While retail remains strong, Vita Group’s biggest growth areas were SMB up 79 percent, accessory line Sprout up 77 percent and enterprise up 60 percent.

Vita Group plans to expand its enterprise solutions business, including cloud, UC and managed services, following the acquisition of enterprise reseller Camelon ICT.

Vita Group also operates Telstra reseller One Zero Communications.

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