Bumper year for FX Networks

Completion of South Island link was a highlight, says MD

FX Networks grew its revenue by 67 percent in the financial year to the end of March, from $25.8 million the previous year to $43 million.

Managing director Murray Jurgeleit says core network business was up 50 percent through new customers.

“It’s very pleasing in a recessionary environment,” he says. “Customers had been postponing investment decisions, particularly around dark fibre, while discussions were ongoing about rural broadband and UFB.

“There’s very strong competition out there, particularly between Telecom, TelstraClear and us around backhaul.”

The audited results show EBITDA increased from $4.3 million to $8.7 million, though the latter figure was affected by a change in accounting policy around the treatment of leases.

Jurgeleit says one of the highlights of the year was completing the South Island link to Dunedin.

“This financial year we are building to Whangarei and New Plymouth. We expect to complete these by the end of the financial year.”

Staff numbers in the core business grew from 41 to 47 during the year. There are also 50 full-time-equivalent staff in the construction side of the business.

He says construction has become very important and will be quite strategic for the next few years because of the demand on contractors and other resources for the rural broadband and UFB projects, as well as the rebuild of Christchurch.

“We’re currently looking at our business model with a view to diverging into other markets,” he says. “We’re pondering whether to get into the small business arena and whether to offer cloud services.” FXN currently targets the country’s top 700 enterprises.

He expects revenue to grow to more than $50 million this financial year.

There was a “glitch” a few months ago in sourcing Japanese componentry because of the earthquake there but this has now stabilised, he says.

FXN currently has 60GB of its 160GB Cisco network lit. This comprises 16 channels of 10Gbps.

“The latest Cisco architecture allows 40Gbps per channel,” Jurgeleit says. “With demand growing rapidly, I envisage that in three years we will be looking at 100Gbps per channel.

“Traffic over the network appears to be doubling every 15 months.”

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