NBN Co has reported its financial results for the half-year ending 31 December 2019 and revealed revenue of $1.81 billion, up 39 percent compared to the same six-month period the previous year.
Capital expenditure dropped from $2.9 billion to $2.5 billion by virtue of the the network rollout nearing completion. EBITDA before subscriber costs was $775 million.
Another 667,000 premises were declared as ready to connect to the network, bringing the total to 10.5 million, while another 907,000 premises actually connected to the network, bringing the number of online premises to 6.4 million. Of those connected, 67 percent of residential and business customers were connected on wholesale speed tiers of 50 Mbps or more, up from 56 percent in the corresponding period.
NBN Co also talked up the inroads it’s made with business customers, having grown business revenue from $214 million to $319 million.
The emphasis on business customers comes at an interesting time for the company, which declared in late January that it would no longer sell directly to enterprise customers following backlash by its retail service provider partners, who criticised NBN Co for going against its mandate of creating a level playing field among providers.
NBN yesterday outlined its future plans since exiting enterprise contracts, including using existing fibre for commercial buildings where possible and limiting its outreach to enterprise and government customers with marketing and education.
Other figures from NBN CO’s results include average revenue per user (ARPU) rising by $2 to $45 off the back of strong demand from residential customers for tier wholesale speed tiers.
NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue reiterated the company was on track to complete most of the network rollout by 30 June 2020.
“The progress of the rollout during the half was particularly pleasing, given we are now at the most challenging stage of the build, which takes in more complex sites, said Rue.
“In the six months to 31 December 2019, we undertook one of the biggest ever phases of deployment and activations of residential and business premises on the network, with more than 907,000 premises activated and more than 667,000 premises declared ready to connect.
“We expect the urban rollout activity to further accelerate in the second half, particularly across our Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) deployment. We are very pleased to say that the nbn is now available in most areas of Australia, and customers continue to sign up to nbn services at a rapid rate.”