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TPG 1H profit slumps 76% on mobile writedown
Australia's TPG Telecom has reported a more than 76% slump in net profit for the half-year ending in December as a result of the A$228 million ($161.2 million) writedown associated with its abandoned mobile foray.
TPG, one of Australia's largest ISPs, posted a net profit for the year of just A$46.9 million, from A$198.6 million a year earlier.
Without A$159.2 million in impairment charges on mobile network and spectrum acquisition costs, as well as other one-time impairments, underlying net profit grew 3.5% to A$225.2 million.
But reported revenue for the quarter fell 1.49% to A$1.23 billion, partly as a result of continued substitution of its high-margin DSL and home phone customers onto the wholesale National Broadband Network, which provides lower margin revenues for retail service providers.
While TPG recently decided to abandon its plans to roll out a mobile network in Australia, citing the decision by the government to ban equipment from its primary vendor Huawei in Australian 5G rollouts, the company is deploying a mobile network in Singapore as the market's fourth mobile operator.
In its half-year report, TPG said it is progressing well with the rollout, and has already achieved nationwide outdoor coverage of over 99%, well ahead of the 95% it was required to achieve by the end of calendar 2018.
The operator meanwhile commenced a mobile service trial in late December that will allow customers to trial the network for free for 12 months while the rollout continues. TPG plans to invite up to 200,000 users to participate in the trial.
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