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Superloop FY19 smashed by AU$50m managed cloud services impairment

Steady revenue and 20% increased costs leads to smaller EBITDA before amortisation and impairment leaves company with AU$84 million net loss before tax.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Superloop is pointing to the performance of its core fibre assets which increased revenue by 89% year-on-year to AU$35 million during the full year to June 30, as the company overall recorded revenue as being steady at AU$117 million, up 1.6% from last year.

Overall earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 61.5% from AU$22 million to AU$8.5 million, with the net result falling through the floor from a AU$1.3 million net profit last year to a AU$72 million net loss.

Much of the drop in the net result was due to a AU$50.7 million impairment from retiring what the company termed its non-core cloud managed services, gained in its 2016 Big Air acquisition, which included a AU$43 million goodwill impairment. Superloop also accelerated the amortisation process for the related contracts, with depreciation and amortisation jumping from AU$22 million last year to AU$36.5 million this year.

Breaking down its revenue, Superloop said it doubled its Australian fibre revenue, recording AU$21.8 million for the year, Singapore almost reached the same multiple, recording AU$10 million in revenue, while Hong Kong increased revenue from AU$1.8 million to AU$3.1 million.

The company recorded AU$10 million less revenue from subsea development with the Indigo subsea cable being made ready for use in May, and its Australian wireless revenue dropped from AU$21.8 million to AU$20.6 million.

Broadband revenue was recorded at AU$35.6 million from AU$26.7 million a year ago, while services revenue fell from AU$36.6 million to AU$24.7 million as the non-core cloud services stopped accepting new sales in early 2019 and customers being moved to partner providers.

The company said it is expecting EBITDA to bounce back to be in a range of AU$14 million to AU$16 million for the next fiscal year, as revenue is recorded from Indigo cable customers and some customers are moved from off-net services onto its network.

In April, Superloop received an unsolicited takeover offer of AU$1.95 per share from the Queensland government-owned Queensland Investment Corporation, however the pair were unable to come to terms and the deal fell through.

"It was the view of the board of Superloop at that time it was in the best interests of Superloop shareholders to engage with QIC and provide them with a limited period of exclusivity to conduct due diligence in order to establish whether an acceptable binding transaction could be agreed," Superloop said.

"The board in discussions with QIC have been unable to agree to a transaction and on that basis, the parties have decided to discontinue the period of exclusivity."

At that time, Superloop was trading at AU$1.76, but has since fallen to close at AU$0.89 on Monday afternoon.

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The final splice of the Indigo subsea cable system is expected to take place in late December, Superloop has said, announcing an FY18 net profit of AU$7 million on revenue of AU$125 million.

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