AAPT 'to be merged'

Writedowns prompt further speculation over AAPT's future

AAPT's continuing decline in profitability has fuelled speculation that Australia's third biggest fixed-line carrier will be folded into a merged Vodafone and Hutchison business.

Telecom, owner of AAPT, on Friday posted a 59% fall in first-half profits to $162 million after writing down the value of the Australian business.

AAPT is in the throes of shifting 350 call centre jobs to Manila in the Philippines to save up to A$7.5m (NZ$9.4m) a year.

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