TPG posts strong results ahead of proposed iiNet buy

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TPG posts strong results ahead of proposed iiNet buy

Lifts full-year guidance.

Internet service provider TPG has posted strong customer and revenue growth as it works toward taking over rival ISP iiNet.

TPG recorded an 18 percent rise in net profit for its first half of fiscal 2015, to $107 million. 

Its consumer broadband subscriber base grew by 38,000 to reach 786,000, buoyed by the addition of 17,000 customers on TPG's own fibre-to-the-basement network and wholesale NBN plans, and 21,000 DSL customers.

TPG's consumer business contributed $117.1 million in earnings for the first half of 2015, a rise of 18 percent on the previous corresponding period.

Average revenue per consumer broadband user grew around $1 to $50.66. NBN bundles are the most lucrative for TPG, reaping ARPU of $62.80, followed by its own FTTB bundle at $54.50.

However, results weren't so rosy for consumer mobile numbers, which fell from 370,000 subscribers from first half fiscal 2014 to 342,000 in the most recent half.

Its mobile operation was the only area that suffered a drop in net promoter score (NPS) for the period, falling slightly to just above 20 percent. NPS for help desk, customer service and broadband all rose in the half.

The company's corporate business posted earnings of $118 million for the period, $59 million more than what it brought in in the first half of fiscal 2014.

The growth was largely a result of the acquisition of AAPT during the second half of TPG's fiscal 2014.

TPG said the results were also due to operational improvements from the business unit, which delivered an additional $23.8 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Similarly, the company launched a new 'Fibre400' product for business customers during the reporting period, which offers unlimited internet with speeds of 400Mbps from $439 per month on a 36 month contract.

TPG upgraded its expected EBITDA for its full fiscal year to between $480 million to $483 million, from previous guidance of between $455-$460 million.

New NBN plans

TPG will also soon launch two new plans for the national broadband network.

A home phone + NBN bundle will soon go on sale offering 500GB of data with 25/5Mbps speeds for $69.99 per month with no lock-in contract.

A $79.99 monthly plan will get users the same bundle and data allowance, but speeds of 50/20Mbps.

Uphill battle for iiNet

TPG may face an uphill battle in its planned acquisition of iiNet as a growing chorus of opponents to the deal make their views known.

Yesterday, iiNet founder and former CEO Michael Malone launched a scathing attack on iiNet's board for approving the deal.

He said the board's lack of communication to shareholders and lack of regard for staff and customers was "pathetic".

Malone said he would use his 2.5 percent stake in the company - or around 4 million shares - to vote against the deal, and encouraged his fellow shareholders to do the same.

NBN Co director Simon Hacket - who holds just under 1 percent in the company - along with BT Investment Management, which counts an almost 6 percent stake, have both reportedly raised concerns about the deal.

The TPG offer must be supported by at least 75 percent of iiNet shareholders to go through.

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