NextDC shrinks net loss, achieves first positive earnings

NextDC's investments in infrastructure are paying off after the company reported its first period of positive EBITDA and operating cash flow during the first half of the 2015 financial year.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Revenue gained from its datacentre services and contract utilisation has helped NextDC to its first period of positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) and operating cash flow during the half-year earnings for the 2015 financial year.

NextDC has announced that its EBITDA was AU$3 million, up from an AU$3.4 million loss that was recorded during the same period from the previous financial year. Similarly, the company achieved an operating cash flow of AU$2.2 million, an increase from the AU$3.9 million outflow reported for the first half of 2014.

As a result, NextDC reported a statutory net loss of AU$5.8 million, compared to AU$7.3 million net loss in the half year ended December 31, 2013.

The company attributed the improvements to datacentre services revenue, which increased by 134 percent to AU$26.7 million, and contract utilisation that grew by 48 percent and billing customer utilisation by 74 percent since December 31, 2013.

The results are a contrast to the company's last full financial year report, where it suffered a net loss of AU$22.9 million. The company said, at the time, that it was due to the facility costs from its expanded network, and that NextDC had spent three years investing heavily in new infrastructure, including opening five datacentres around Australia.

NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie said the results are an indication that the company's datacentre expansion investments are starting to pay off.

"We are starting to see the benefits of the inherent leverage of the company's scalable infrastructure start to flow through the earnings and operating cash flows," he said.

"We are pleased with the EBITDA contributions that M1 Melbourne, S1 Sydney, and B1 Brisbane now make to the group. The strong EBITDA margins being achieved at each site are only possible through efficiency and scale of our operations and the hard work of our great team."

The company added that it continues to make ongoing capacity expansions at C1 Canberra, P1 Perth, and S1 Sydney. Its S1 facility is receiving an additional 2.8MW, while another 1.4MW is being added at P1.

During the first half of the year, NextDC said it also undertook further engineering work as part of "Project Plus", which it expects will allow it to expand total network capacity to 42MW.

NextDC's datacentre revenue guidance for the full year is between AU$55 million to AU$60 million, up 8 percent on its prior guidance of AU$51 million to AU$55 million.

"We expect to build on the first-half results and deliver continued solid revenue growth, positive EBITDA, and operating cash flows in the second half," Scroggie said.

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