Optus says the full-year net profit delivered to its Singaporean parent company Singtel dropped 39 per cent to $402 million as more customers opted for SIM-only phone plans and data price competition intensified.
Revenue for the 12 months to March 31 dropped 2.0 per cent to $8.95 billion as higher NBN migration revenue offset lower equipment and service revenue.
For the quarter, operating revenue dropped 8.6 per cent to $2.1 billion, while its net profit plunged 84 per cent to $37 million as it began to see impacts from COVID-19 .
“It’s been a challenging year and those challenges have intensified in the fourth quarter,” Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said.
Ms Bayer Rosmarin said the period since March 31 had been both better and worse for the telco.
“The beginning of April was very challenging all around but we are seeing an improvement from that bottom,” she said, adding that “it’s nowhere near back to normal”.
Ms Bayer Rosmarin noted Optus Sport had been the first Australian broadcaster to resume showing live sport, winning the rights to televise South Korea’s football K League for 2020, and was seeing good engagement from that.
Optus said its mobile service revenue was down 5.4 per cent for the quarter to $863 million, with equipment sales down falling 22.3 per cent to $378 million.
Consumers have been retaining their handset for longer, Optus is receiving lower rebates from vendors, and the company experienced delivery disruptions from a major logistics supplier.
Optus said its prepaid subscribers fell 1.2 per cent year-on-year to 3.8 million, while its postpaid subscribers grew by 2.5 per cent to 5.8 million.
The number of customers on data-only SIMs grew 5.8 per cent to 1.2 million.
The company is also seeing its home internet margins erode as it gains more NBN customers, which have low resale margins.
“This is a familiar pattern for all Australian telcos but this comes later for us,” Ms Bayer Rosmarin said.