Optus Enterprise overachieves in "challenging" half year for parent

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Optus Enterprise overachieves in "challenging" half year for parent

Optus Enterprise, formerly Optus Business, has posted revenue and earnings growth despite the telco reporting a “challenging” 2020 half year.

The telco's services division reported 5.4 percent growth in operating revenue to $637 million in the half year ended 30 September 2020, from $605 million in 2019. EBITDA grew 2.9 percent to $54 million for the period, up from $53 million last year.

Optus said the growth was fuelled by an increase in demand for collaboration tools and equipment for customers implementing work from home arrangements.

The division also secured a three-year extension with the Australian Taxation Office in October 2020, in contracts worth $233 million.

The business as a whole meanwhile felt the impacts of “industry headwinds” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying economic recession.

During the half year, revenue declined 9 percent to just over $4 billion, down from $4.5 billion in 2019, while EBITDA is down 30 percent to $977 million, compared to $1.4 billion last year.

Optus said the numbers reflected lower retail fixed margins from a larger share of NBN customers, lower NBN migration payments and reduced volumes of equipment sales. The telco’s fixed NBN customers grew by 235,000 from 2019, and now accounts for 90 percent
of Optus’ total fixed broadband base as of 30 September this year.

“Optus has been focused on doing the right thing to support customers and staff during a very challenging year, and our results reflect the conditions we currently face. I take heart from the inherent resilience in our core business, and the strong recoveries we have seen across our channels with the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions,” Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said.

“Our customer satisfaction has never been stronger, our complaints are reducing, and our offering is very compelling and provides great value for customers. Whilst the headwinds are likely to continue to dampen our performance for the foreseeable future, I am optimistic about our longer term plans and expect a return to growth underpinned by a continued focus on customers.”

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