This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

Lines company, Chorus, has seen its full year net profit drop, hit by lower revenue and increased interest costs to pay for the roll-out of fibre.

The company’s net profit fell 38 percent to $53 million in the year to June, while the underlying profit was also down 2.6 percent to $636m, which was in line with its guidance.

Revenue fell 2 percent to $970m, while operating expenses were little changed at $334m.

Chorus also announced Kate McKenzie was stepping down as chief executive at the end of the year, and planned to return to Australia.

McKenzie said as the original ultra fast broadband (UFB) programme neared completion, demand for fibre had reached record levels, with more than half of Chorus’s broadband connections on fibre.

“We completed a record 186,000 fibre installations, and fibre uptake within our UFB areas grew from 45 percent to 53 percent,” she said.

“Despite some of the competitive challenges we face, particularly the decline in voice-only connections, we remain focussed on returning to modest (underlying profit) growth in FY20.”

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