TeamTalk forecasts steady earnings amid network roll-out

Article – BusinessDesk

TeamTalk forecasts steady earnings amid network roll-out

By Gavin Evans

Oct. 10 (BusinessDesk) – TeamTalk is expecting similar full-year earnings despite higher operating costs and investment.

The telecommunications provider is expecting net profit for the year through June 2019 to be “broadly in line” with the $4.4 million it reported in August.

The company, which last year sold its Farmside rural internet service to Vodafone, is rolling out a new digital radio network across the country.

The network in Auckland is complete and work is underway in Northland, Waikato and Wellington. By Christmas, the project will be half completed, including Tauranga, Napier, Otago, Dunedin and South Canterbury.

When completed next June it will be the only nationwide digital radio network in the country, chief executive Andrew Miller said.

“This is a major infrastructure roll-out for any company and it is pleasing to see that we are on track. It is confirmation that TeamTalk has the skills and capability to carry out the detailed design, planning and delivery of major projects.”

TeamTalk shares rose from a nine-month low to 81 cents, up 2.5 percent. The stock is down 13 percent since Aug. 23 when the company said it would reinvest earnings rather than resume paying dividends this year.

TeamTalk provides mobile radio communications and other niche services. It has provided broadband services to the Chatham Island under the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative since 2014 and has just had that $312,000 contract extended at an extra $8,200 a month, according to Crown accounts published yesterday.

The company’s other main business is its CityLink arm, which provides fibre and wireless broadband services in Auckland and Wellington.

Miller said planning is on track for the undergrounding later this year of CityLink’s Wellington fibre network using Powerco’s gas ducting in the CBD.

(BusinessDesk)

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