news Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has announced continued “solid growth” during the first six months of the year, with both customer base and earnings on the rise.
The firm said its customer base grew by 239,000 customers (4.5%) year on year to 5.5 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 7.7% year on year to $412 million.
In a year-on-year comparison, VHA said, total revenue increased 4.2% and gross average revenue per user (ARPU) increased 4.5%, if revenue impacted by the ACCC’s reduction of industry mobile termination rates (MTR) is excluded.
VHA’s Chief Financial Officer, James Marsh, said the firm’s half year results were “in line with expectations”.
“We are proud of our strong network and worry-free products, so it’s pleasing to see another solid performance as it indicates we are on the right track,” Marsh said.
The increase in network customers is being driven by a 4.2% year-on-year increase in VHA’s postpaid consumers and a 28.6% year-on-year lift in wholesale customers, the CFO said.
“VHA’s Red plans continue to be popular, with products such as $5 Roaming and our $0 roaming trial in New Zealand a driver of new connections, renewals and upgrades,” Marsh said.
According to Marsh, the firm is also investing in “strategic wholesale opportunities”.
“The significant increase in MVNO [mobile virtual network operator] customers is largely due to the continued migration of TPG Mobile customers to the VHA network,” he said.
VHA said it is also working to develop increasing consumer confidence in its network and products.
“VHA’s network is better than ever after our multi-billion dollar investment over recent years, with our 4G network now reaching more than 22 million Australians,” Marsh said.
“The significant work we have done across network, products and customer service is paying off.” he said. “VHA achieved the lowest ratio of customer complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman for the fourth consecutive quarter in June 2016, while our Net Promoter Score was up 18 points in June 2016 from June 2015.
To build on this, VHA has a initiated a marketing campaign across TV, radio, billboard and digital channels.
“The campaign, which includes innovative demonstrations of the VHA network and is complemented by our Network Satisfaction Guarantee, is saying to Australian consumers that we are so confident in our network, we are willing to back it,” according to Marsh.
Finally, the telco said there had been a continued improvement in loss position so far this year, with the half year loss down 36.8% year on year.