Optus blames falling revenue on ACCC again

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Optus blames falling revenue on ACCC again

Optus has again pinned its sliding revenue on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for the second quarter in a row after a crackdown on mobile termination rates.

Revenue for the first half of FY17, ending 30 September 2016, was down 10.8 percent to $4.1 billion. Profit also fell by 16.4 percent to $356 million.

On 1 January 2016, the ACCC introduced a reduction in maximum mobile call and SMS termination charges to the Australian telco industry. Termination rates for calls dropped from 3.6 cents per minute to 1.7 cents, and from 7.5 cents to 0.03 cents for SMS.

Excluding the impact of the new rates, Optus said its post-paid average revenue per user would have increased by three percent.

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said the lower mobile termination rate could see Optus' mobile service revenue fall by "mid-teens" for the entire financial year ending 31 March 2017. Optus previously indicated it could lose up to $800 million in FY17 from the change.

Despite falling revenue, Optus' customer base continued to grow, with 335,000 new 4G mobile customers, bringing the total to 5.27 million.

The broadband business also put on a strong showing, with operating revenue up six percent. Optus said it now had 164,000 customers using an NBN broadband service and 1.11 million overall broadband customers.

Lew said the results reflected Optus' efforts to diversify its product offering, which includes entertainment content like data-free streaming services.

"Optus has successfully deepened its engagement with customers, achieving a record quarter of customer growth for our branded mobile business, and strong demand for Optus' unique entertainment content," he said.

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