Spirit Telecom reports AU$2m net loss after reverse takeover costs

The high-speed ISP has announced a AU$2.1 million net loss on revenue of AU$8.8 million as it rolls out broadband across apartments and commercial premises.

Spirit Telecom has announced its results for the 2015-16 financial year, reporting a net loss of AU$2.14 million, a 1220.4 percent year-on-year increase from the AU$162,390 net loss announced last year due to the costs of its reverse takeover of Arunta Resources.

Revenue for the year was AU$8.8 million, increasing substantially by 43.5 percent from FY15's AU$6.2 million, while net assets were AU$3.4 million as of June 30, up 181 percent from AU$1.2 million. Cash and cash equivalents stood at AU$2.3 million as of the end of the period, up 212.5 percent from AU$721,379.

The company did not report its statutory earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), saying, "Spirit considers underlying EBITDA as more appropriate measure for a telecommunications business". As such, its underlying EBITDA -- removing the costs of acquisition and listing -- was reported as being AU$995,000.

"The statutory reported loss for the period includes the financial impact of the non-cash reverse acquisition accounting, together with acquisition costs totalling approximately AU$2.6 million," Spirit, which hails itself as Australia's fastest internet service provider, said in its results.

Spirit said it is seeing strong growth in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, along with the small and medium-sized enterprise market, which is expected to continue into the next year.

"Spirit is well placed to continue its recent growth trajectory in FY17 and is expected to generate more than a 30 percent increase in revenue," the company said.

"The increase use of the Spirit Air model of delivery will improve gross margins and provide overall better capital returns on top of the attractive margins already received from fibre-to-the-basement model."

It is also continuing to investigate acquisition and investment opportunities.

Spirit in July reported that it had connected more than 50 buildings over the first half of calendar 2016, with one attaining 400Mbps download and 400Mbps upload speeds.

Spirit, which bills itself as a "niche telecommunications carriage service provider" and focuses on supplying fibre-based broadband and phone services to multi-dwelling units (MDUs), relisted on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in June.

The addition of 50 extra MDUs represented a 25 percent growth in terms of building numbers, Spirit said, with the ISP also having upgraded its NextDC Melbourne and Equinix Sydney datacentre points of presence (PoPs) over that time, and adding PoPs in Brisbane's NextDC datacentre.

Its fastest internet service clocked in at speeds of 400/400Mbps in the Freshwater Place residential apartment building in Melbourne.

Spirit's customer base consists of 34 percent residential, 61 percent commercial, and 5 percent student accommodation buildings.

Since the start of calendar 2016, it has rolled out fibre-based internet services to Melbourne's Princess, Comedy, and Forum Theatres; hoteliers Punt Hill in Brisbane and Melbourne; and student accommodation group Iglu in Sydney and Melbourne.

It has also provisioned apartment buildings Vogue, involving 500 apartments; Maxx Apartments, consisting of 130 apartments; and Yarra's Edge Towers 2 & 3, involving 280 apartments.