​NextDC profit drops to AU$6.6m in FY18

The datacentre services provider has reported AU$161.5 million in revenue, but its profit dropped by AU$16 million.

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NextDC has reported its results for FY18, posting a AU$16.4 million drop in profit from its FY17 result to AU$6.6 million.

In delivering its results for the year ended June 30, 2018, NextDC explained FY17 statutory net profit after tax includes AU$10.2 million of income tax benefit stemming from the recognition of unused historical tax losses.

Revenue was up from the AU$123.6 million recorded in FY17 to AU$161.5 million, which was comprised mainly of AU$152.6 million in datacentre services revenue.

Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was AU$62.6 million, while in FY17 it was AU$49 million

The company raised AU$300 million in the form of Notes IV, bringing its pro-forma cash and term deposits balance to AU$718 million; it also has access to senior debt facilities of AU$300 million, which NextDC said currently remain undrawn.

As of June 30, 2018, contracted utilisation at its facilities was 40.2MW, with the number of customers increasing by 29 percent over the same time last year to 972.

Average interconnects per customer was 8.9 for the year, with NextDC saying the 9 percent increase highlights the increasing use of hybrid cloud and connectivity both inside and outside the datacentre as customers expand their ecosystems.

35 percent of NextDC's customers are classed as enterprise and 8 percent as government.

During the year, Brisbane B2 and Melbourne M2 facilities opened for customer access.

NextDC said final expansion works on S1 were competed, adding 2MW of new capacity, including additional data hall space being fitted out. Meanwhile with Sydney S2 construction underway, NextDC completion remains on track to open in the first half of the 2019 financial year for customer access with an initial capacity of 6MW and an accelerated development of an additional 8MW of capacity

In the west, Perth P1's third data hall opened with development underway on the fourth and final data hall.

NextDC in March announced it was seeking AU$281 million from the market, at the time noting the funds would be used to purchase a trio of new sites around the country, with a third location in Sydney and Melbourne, and a second site in Perth, where the S1, M1, and P1 sites are located.

On Friday, the company said the three new sites would be S3 in Sydney, M3 in Melbourne, and P2 in Perth, with design and development work to commence immediately for P2.

NextDC also announced expanded cloud offerings from anywhere in Australia through Oracle Fast Connect and Google Cloud Platform via the NextDC AXON network, in addition to existing connectivity to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft ExpressRoute, IBM Cloud, and other cloud on-ramps.

"We continue to experience strong demand for NextDC's premium datacentre services, with the company experiencing not only strong growth in contracted utilisation, but also adding a record number of more than 2,300 interconnections during FY18," CEO Craig Scroggie told shareholders on Friday.

"Furthermore, with NextDC currently in advanced negotiations in relation to further large customer opportunities, we expect to carry this strong momentum into FY19.

"The past 12 months has seen the company deliver Australia's first UTI certified Tier IV constructed facilities, deliver the industry's most efficient NABERS 5-star designed datacentres that certify record low PUEs, as well as demonstrate operational excellence via UTI Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability across P1 and S1 and now delivering another benchmark first with UTI Tier IV Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability for B2."

For the first half of the year, the company reported a 41 percent jump in underlying EBITDA to AU$33.6 million. However, with an income tax expense of close to AU$4 million paid, compared to a one-off AU$11 million tax benefit last year, post-tax profit more than halved to AU$8.4 million.

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