Optus mobile revenue falls

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Optus mobile revenue falls

Usage alerts contribute to decline.

Optus has blamed the introduction of mobile usage caps, reduced call termination rates and lower equipment sales for a 4.6 percent revenue drop this financial year.

Australia’s second-largest telco today reported $728 million after-tax profit for the 12 months to 31 March, down 7.5 percent from the previous year.

The decline came despite Optus’ recent restructure, which allowed it to cut operating expenses by $454 million (6.4 percent), including a 15 percent fall in staffing costs.

Optus’ mobile division suffered the greatest revenue fall, reporting a $361 million (5.9 percent) change.

Revenue from its consumer and SMB division also fell 5.1 percent ($65 million) in the year, while its business and wholesale revenues suffered 0.8 percent drops ($10 million and $5 million respectively).

Optus highlighted a reduction in mobile device subsidies – resulting in a $40 million decrease in equipment sales – and a device replacement plan that was implemented in October 2011 and cost it $20 million.

It took a further $18 million hit from the ACCC’s decision to reduce mobile termination rates from 9 cents a minute in 2011 to 6 cents last year and 4.8 cents as of 1 January 2013.

In addition, Optus reported less revenue from roaming and breakage fees because it had begun providing customers with usage alerts and caps on excess usage.

Optus grew its number of mobile subscribers by 1.1 percent to 9.59 million as of 31 March, with customers increasingly taking up postpaid services (5.9 percent increase to 5.5 million postpaid subscribers).

Of the total number of subscribers, 8 percent (785,000) used 4G devices. Optus said it had more than 750 4G sites across the nation as of 31 March.

“Optus continued to make significant investments to enhance the coverage, quality and performance of its network,” it said.

Optus’ parent Singtel Group today reported a 12 percent fall in net profit after tax, and 3.4 percent fall in operating revenue to S$18.18 billion ($14.80 billion).

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