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Vocus reports AU$27m profit due to Amcom acquisition

Vocus' profit increased by AU$18 million over the year, with its revenues up 181 percent and EBITDA up 188 percent thanks in large part to the addition of Amcom's assets.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Vocus Communications has announced its financial results for the first half of FY16, reporting net profit of AU$27.37 million, a substantial increase of 202.5 percent over last year's AU$9.05 million.

Revenue was up by 180.9 percent year over year, from AU$62.74 million to AU$176.28 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was AU$62.25 million, a jump of 188.4 percent from the AU$21.59 million reported at the end of December 2014.

Vocus saw capital expenditure reach AU$27.7 million during the period, 59.2 percent more than during the previous year. According to the company, this was predominantly spent on increasing its metropolitan fibre footprint, following its AU$1.2 billion Amcom acquisition in June.

Vocus' net assets were AU$906.7 million, an increase of 362 percent from last year's AU$196.2 million, while cash and cash equivalents stood at AU$28.4 million, a drop of AU$10,703.

"The interim results are particularly pleasing given that transactional activity can often distract from business operations," incoming Vocus CEO Geoff Horth said, in reference to the Amcom acquisition and the merger with M2 Group.

"I would like to thank both teams who remained focused on executing on our strategies during this busy time to deliver returns to shareholders."

Acquisition and integration costs amounted to AU$11.5 million for the six-month period.

Breaking down revenue figures, Vocus' fibre and Ethernet business brought in the most, at AU$80.3 million, experiencing 218 percent growth from last year's AU$25.24 million; internet contributed AU$41.65 million, a 114.6 percent rise from last year's AU$19.41 million; datacentre brought in AU$24.55 million, a 114.8 percent increase from last year's AU$11.43 million; voice contributed AU$16.36 million, 205.8 percent more than the AU$5.35 million reported in December 2014; and projects contributed AU$13.11 million, 1,331 percent more than 2014's AU$916,000.

According to the company, its internet business grew thanks to the addition of Amcom corporate internet; datacentre growth was attributed to the acquisitions of the Amcom, EDC, and Bently datacentres; and voice growth was due to acquiring Broadsoft IP Tel through Amcom.

In regards to geographical revenue, AU$138.53 million came from Vocus' Australian business; AU$35.34 million from its New Zealand business; and AU$2.1 million from the rest of the world.

Consumer revenue grew by 33 percent, from AU$324 million to AU$431 million, while business and wholesale revenue increased by 24 percent, from AU$222 million up to AU$276 million

In Australia, Vocus now has 411,000 fixed voice customers, with an average revenue per user (ARPU) of AU$38; 173,000 mobile customers, at an ARPU of AU$37; 471,000 broadband customers, with an ARPU of AU$44; and 126,000 energy customers, with an ARPU of AU$105.

For New Zealand, Vocus has 187,000 services in operation for data, at AU$52 ARPU, and 146,000 fixed voice customers, at a AU$30 ARPU.

Vocus now has 1,791km of fibre across Australia, as well as 4,500km in New Zealand.

Vocus' results did not take into account figures from M2.

"As the merger occurred subsequent to 31 December 2015, M2 made no contribution to Vocus' results for the half year," Vocus noted.

According to Vocus, M2's net profit for the period was AU$55.1 million, rising by 17 percent; its revenue was AU$707.4 million, up 29 percent; and its EBITDA was AU$104.7 million, up 22 percent. M2's net assets as of December 31 amounted to AU$375 million.

M2 also has more than 40,000 National Broadband Network (NBN) customers as of December.

Shareholders of M2 voted in favour of the merge in January, with the two companies to form the third-largest telecommunications provider in New Zealand and the fourth-largest in Australia, worth more than AU$3 billion.

M2 shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour, with 99.69 percent, or 120,555,102 votes for; 271,690 votes abstaining; and just 370,023 votes against.

The companies are forecasting combined revenues of AU$1.8 billion for FY16, as well as EBITDA of AU$370 million.

Occurring via an M2 scheme of arrangement, the merger is scrip based, wherein M2 shareholders were given 1.625 Vocus shares per M2 share.

The vertically integrated entity will provide retail internet, retail electricity and gas, corporate and wholesale internet and VoIP, datacentre and cloud services, domestic and international bandwidth, and dark fibre.

The Supreme Court of Victoria approved the M2-Vocus merger in early February, with Vocus due to pay AU$8 million to implement the acquisition during the second half of FY16.

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