VHA venture lifts Hutch into the black

Dylan Bushell-Embling
05 Aug 2010

Hutchison Telecom Australia’s merger with Vodafone has helped it to an A$17.9 million ($16.4m) profit in the June half.

The company - which owns a 50% stake in the joint venture Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) - said it had swung to profit from an underlying A$35.3 million loss in the same period a year ago.

The VHA venture added 539,000 new customers in the first half, bringing its total share to 7.43 million. VHA has added 1.1 million customers since the merger was completed in June last year. Churn was maintained at 1.3% per month.

ARPU fell from A$63 in 1H09 to A$53 in 1H10, because of the increase in prepaid customers - around 42% of VHA subscribers are prepaid.

VHA CEO Nigel Dews said the JV was “on track” to deliver the A$2 billion of cost savings expected from the merger.

Operating expenditure per customer has fallen to A$181 from A$218 in 1H09 and average acquisition cost per customer was down to A$155 from A$193, while operating expenditure as a percentage of service revenue was 4.1% lower.

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