NBN rollout helps iiNet add 25,000 broadband customers

iiNet's strong NBN strategy has seen the company creep up on Optus, growing its fixed-line customer base to 975,000 in the first half of this financial year.

iiNet has recorded strong growth in the first half of this financial year, adding 25,000 fixed-line customers and recording a net profit after tax of AU$31.6 million.

For the first half, the company saw revenues of AU$547 million, up 8 percent compared to the same half of the last financial year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation were up 2 percent, to AU$98 million.

The company had strong organic growth in the half, adding 25,000 customers to bring the company's total fixed customer base to 975,000. This is just 13,000 shy of second-largest fixed-line company Optus' customer base of 988,000, as of the end of December last year.

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iiNet subscribers comprise 623,000 in areas where the company has DSLAMs installed in exchanges, and 267,000 in areas where iiNet is reselling Telstra wholesale products.

The vast majority of the company's growth in the half came from the National Broadband Network (NBN) and fibre -- in the six months to the end of December, the company added another 20,000 customers either on fibre or the NBN. The company has been aggressively targeting new customers in NBN areas where iiNet may have not had much play previously.

"Given iiNet's position and product capabilities, the company remains well positioned to capitalise on the changing landscape of a ramped-up NBN rollout plan," iiNet CEO David Buckingham said in a statement.

"The acquisition of a majority stake in tech2 Group has provided iiNet with a leading capability in in-home and NBN installation services. The acceleration of the NBN rollout, and the introduction of new technologies to the process, presents the potential for a faster rate of organic growth through an increasing number of new connections per week."

In total, iiNet has recorded 1.91 million active services across fixed, mobile, and IPTV, and the company heralded a record net-promoter score of 63 percent.

iiNet's burgeoning business division also grew its revenue by 5 percent in the half up to AU$106 million. The company said it is focusing on its east coast business opportunities.

Buckingham said that the company's strong fiscal position has allowed it to reinvest money in improving iiNet.

"iiNet's strong cash flows have allowed us to reduce leverage while also investing back into the business to pursue growth and better position iiNet for the changing competitive landscape," he said.

"The majority of the company's capital expenditure over the past six months was invested in enhancing our capacity to support growth through increased network capacity, improved IT systems, and corporate investment in order to better service our growing customer base, which is fast approaching the 1 million mark."