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Telecom to rebrand as profit falls

Telecom to rebrand as profit falls

To become Spark to resemble breadth of services

Telecom will rename to Spark to represent its services portfolio which has over time expanded beyond home telecommunications.

Spark New Zealand Limited is the intended name for the parent company, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited.

The move includes its managed solutions provider (MSP) business, Gen-i, which will operate as Spark Digital Solutions, as well as Telecom Digital Ventures which will become Spark Ventures.

Telecom said the change will occur “later this year” but did not provide a specific time frame. A spokesperson confirmed an announcement will be made closer to the launch date. Until the change takes effect, Telecom and Gen-i will operate as normal.

“As a company we have moved far beyond the home telephone,” Telecom chief executive officer (CEO), Simon Moutter, said. “Spark better represents what we are today; it is all about digital services, fibre, mobile, data, Cloud, entertainment, apps, or whatever new technology is around the corner.”

The rebranding was announced at Telecom’s financials briefing in which it revealed it recorded net profit after taxes (NPAT) of $147 million (excluding discontinued operations) for the six months ended December 31, 2013, marking a 12.5 per cent dip. Including discontinued operations, the figure sits at $167m.

total net profit after taxes (NPAT) of $167 million (including discontinued operations) for the six months ended December 31, 2013, marking a 2.5 per cent increase. Without the discontinued operations, this figure drops to $147m, down 12.5 per cent.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from continuing operations were down 5.8 per cent.

Total revenue from ordinary activities excluding discontinued operations was $1.847 billion, a three per cent slip over the same period the year before. This is largely attributed to a 9.2 per cent decline in fixed line revenues. Meanwhile, mobile revenue was up 5.8 per cent.

Capital expenditure for continuing operations was up 18.2 per cent to $266m.

Dividend is reported as $0.08 per share, while earnings per share sit at $0.09.

Telecom made several significant strides in 2013, most notably launching its 4G mobile data network as well as the launch of its ultra fibre services on the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) network and faster VDSL broadband over the existing copper network.

The company also upgraded phone booths into a nationwide network of public Wi-Fi hotspots, and committed a further $149m to the 700MHz spectrum.

The year also saw Telecom exit the Australian market.

The telco now looks forward to the launch of its Internet-delivered television and movie services, ShowmeTV.

“The upcoming launch of ShowmeTV offers all New Zealanders an exciting new choice about how to get their home entertainment, which we think represents the future of how people will access content,” Moutter said.

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