News National NBN Co posts $932m operating loss

NBN Co posts $932m operating loss

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The company building the national broadband network (NBN) has posted an operating loss of nearly $1 billion for last financial year.

NBN Co’s annual report has just been released, showing the company generated an operating loss of $932 million after tax for the financial year ending June 30, 2013.

And while the company’s total yearly telecommunication revenue of $17 million was well up from the $2 million recorded the previous financial year, it fell short of the $18 million target in its corporate plan.

Revenue generated from NBN Co’s 70,100 active premises provided an average revenue of $37 per user, per month – which was higher than expected and helped offset the impact of lower than predicted premises activations.

The company made a further $49 million in revenue from interest income.

Operating expenditure for the year came in at $749 million, which was lower than the forecasted $1 billion in the 2012-15 corporate plan, partly due to “the delay in rollout of the NBN”.

In a letter written to new NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann moved to separate themselves from the financial performance.

“We note that the 2012-13 Annual Report was endorsed by the previous NBN Co Chairman and provided to our Departments … prior to the 2013 Federal Election,” the letter stated.

“It therefore necessarily reflects NBN Co’s implementation of the broadband policies of the previous Government.”

They also questioned figures contained in the report, with NBN Co claiming 1,115,000 premises had reached the construction commenced or completed stage as of June 30.

“A casual observer might assume this figure just includes premises able to connect to the NBN plus those where physical construction is underway,” the letter said.

“In fact, construction commenced also includes premises where high-level design work has been performed but actual physical build work with those designs has yet to commence.”

In her opening message of the report, former NBN Co chairwoman Siobhan McKenna said in areas where the network had been operational for more than six months, an average of more than 35 per cent of premises passed had taken up an NBN service.