Data revenue up, call income down in Telecom's half-year report

Data revenues are increasing, income from landline calls is decreasing and cellular revenues are about the same, while subsidiary ISPs here and in Australia report revenue increases. That's the picture that emerges from Telecom's financial report for the half year ended December 31.

Data revenues are increasing, income from landline calls is decreasing and cellular revenues are about the same, while subsidiary ISPs here and in Australia report revenue increases. That's the picture that emerges from Telecom's financial report for the half year ended December 31.

The report, released last Tuesday, shows total income from data services was up 11% to $253 million, compared with $228 million for the half year to December 31 2000. The data figures include an uptake in ADSL revenue from $4 million to $14 million, due to more users signing up for JetStream. Revenue from most data services went up, though ISDN and "other leased data" showed decreases. On the other hand, revenue from landline calls, domestic and international, totalled $484 million, down from $492 million for the half year to December 31 2000.

The data up, calls down trend was mirrored in the results from Telecom's overseas operations, which include Australian subsidiary AAPT. The offshore results show data revenue up 29.8% and income from calls down 4.6%.

In the mobile segment, interconnection fees showed an 18.8% increase, with more landline callers dialing mobile numbers, while cellular revenue itself showed no change.

Revenue from Xtra and Australian ISP Connect were up, Xtra recording a 36% increase in revenue from $36 million to $49 million and Connect up from $42 million to $46 million.

Telecom's overall capital expenditure was down significantly, from $670 million to $413 million, with the carrier's "management commentary" on the results noting "this reflects the completion of major projects in the prior year, such as the construction of the New Zealand CDMA network as well as tight control of capital expenditure".

The overall result for the half year ended December 31, 2001 was a $312 million net profit, up from $300 million for the previous second half year. For the year ended June 30 2002, Telecom expects capital expenditure to be around $900 million, compared with $1.5 million for the year to June 2001.

Australian Telecommunications analyst Paul Budde says the results, while positive in some respects, don't excite him and represent "a continuation of the status quo".

He believes Telecom needs to set its long term sights on goals such as fibre-optic access to homes and 50Mbit/s speeds to homes.

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