NextDC H1 profit soars to AU$19.3m

Datacentre-as-a-service provider NextDC has reported AU$19.3 million in after-tax profit on revenue of AU$58.7 million for the six months ended December 2016.

NextDC has released its results for the first half of the 2017 financial year, reporting an AU$18.7 million year-on-year increase in after-tax profit to AU$19.3 million.

For the six months ended December 2016, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed company reported its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) had more than doubled over the corresponding period a year prior, coming in at AU$23.9 million.

Operating cash flow increased year on year by just under AU$20 million, coming in at AU$25.4 million for the six-month period.

Revenue was up 39 percent to AU$58.7million, with AU$56 million of that total attributable to the company's datacentre services.

According to NextDC chief executive Craig Scroggie, the 2017 financial year is slated to be the biggest in the company's history.

"We are very pleased to report record revenue, EBITDA, and operating cash flow. This outstanding performance reflects NextDC's inherent operating leverage, which combined with a robust balance sheet, puts the business in a strong position to continue to accelerate growth," Scroggie said on Friday.

"FY17 is the biggest year in NextDC's history, with planned capital investments of more than AU$250 million.

"We are developing three new world-class hyperscale datacentres to take advantage of the unprecedented demand for cloud and enterprise colocation."

In September, NextDC raised AU$150 million for the construction of a new datacentre in New South Wales.

At the time, the company said it had signed a new deal with an existing customer that required 1.5 megawatts (MW) of capacity, and with its existing Sydney facility (S1) sitting at 82 percent utilisation back in September, NextDC needed more space to cater for the customer's needs.

The Sydney (S2) datacentre is expected to cost approximately AU$150 million, and an expected target of approximately 30MW capacity is slated to be ready by the first half of the 2018 financial year.

On Friday, NextDC told shareholders that S1 was also undergoing an upgrade from 14MW to 15MW, with additional data hall space being fitted out at S1 and M1 (Melbourne) to support customer requirements.

NextDC secured space in Queensland's Fortitude Valley in May to build its AU$75 million Brisbane 2 (B2) datacentre, scheduled for completion in late 2017.

The AU$75 million includes the purchase of land, base building, and associated infrastructure to support an initial 1.5MW of IT load. At the time, NextDC said it has every intention for B2's total capacity to reach 6MW, building on a site close to a major electricity substation.

A day later, NextDC confirmed Tullamarine as the location for its AU$85 million Melbourne 2 (M2) datacentre, after executing a contract to acquire the space near one of Australia's busiest airports.

Similarly to B2, the AU$85 million investment includes the land, base building, and associated infrastructure to support the facility's initial 2MW of IT load, with the company expecting this to scale up to a target capacity of 25MW at full fit-out.

The company set out to raise AU$120 million in November to fund the construction of B2 and M2.

NextDC confirmed on Friday that construction had commenced on both B2 and M2, and that both sites are on track to achieve practical completion towards the end of the 2017 financial year.

For the 2015-16 financial year, NextDC reported its first full-year profit, posting a AU$1.8 million statutory profit on revenue of AU$92.8 million.

EBITDA was AU$27.7 million, a 247 percent increase from last year's AU$8 million.

At the time, Scroggie said the positive result was a significant achievement for what he called a young company with substantial capital investments.

Based on 1H17 performance, current utilisation levels, and expected new customer contracts in the second half of the financial year, NextDC told shareholders it is expecting FY2017 EBITDA in the range of AU$46 million to AU$50 million, on revenue in the range of AU$115 million to AU$122 million.