Chorus Limited (ASX: CNU) is a Wellington, New Zealand based telecom company which is building and managing an open-access internet network through its ultra-fast broadband connection. Currently, the company has more than 1.5 million broadband connections with 11,000 cabinets and 280,000 poles.
Today, the company has provided an update over the connections for the second quarter ending December 2018.
The company reported a growth of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) uptake of 51% (vs. 50% in September 2018). The growth was due to the stronger fibre demand during the quarter. It reported 504,000 connections connecting 981,000 customers. 738,000 premises have been passed. The company reported 52% uptake in Horotiu and 43% uptake in Hokitika.
The company achieved a better customer satisfaction score of 7.8 in November as compared to 7.5 in September. It connected 50% of fibre installations within a day and reduced field crews from 770 in September to 750 in December with an increase in weighted average lead times to 12 days in December (vs. 8 days in September). The company also reduced its work in progress from 25k in September to 22k in December.
The company added 38,000 mass market fibre connections in 2Q19. During 2Q19, the company achieved 44,000 connections on gigabit plans which were 36,000 in 1Q19, representing a growth of 22%, with 71% of the mass market using fibre connections of 100Mbps speed. Monthly average data usage per connection also grew to 235GB from 221GB (Sept 2018) with 315GB on fibre (Sept: 307GB) and 174GB on copper (Sept:163GB).
The company recorded highest data usage during the weekends with Sunday 25 November 2018 setting the 2018 record at just under 11 million gigabytes of data and Sunday, 1 April 2018 (Easter holidays) had the lowest usage with 6 million gigabytes. CNU also saw a correlation between weekday data usage and school holidays during April, July, and October.
The peak time for data consumption was seen in the evening at 9 pm typically during the Commonwealth Games and new season releases and software updates of Fortnite.
In 2Q19, the company reported a fall in Unbundled copper, Baseband copper, VDSL, and Copper ADSL fixed line connections being reported at 39k, 244k, 295k, and 374k respectively as compared to 1Q19. It reported growth in Fibre fixed line broadband connection from 479k in 1Q19 to 517k in 2Q19. There was no change in Data services and Fibre premium fixed line connection from 1Q19 and was reported at 5k and 12k respectively. This sums up to a total fixed line connection of 1.486 million in 2Q19 representing a fall of 21k as compared to 1.507 million connections in 1Q19.
Total broadband connections also decreased by 4k to 1.186 million in 2Q19 (Q1 FY19: +3k), which is consistent with seasonal Q2 broadband disconnections.
The company will release its half-yearly result for six months ended 31 December 2018 before the market opens on 25 February 2019.
The Chorus Limited stock has generated a positive return of 16.67% during the past 1 year. The shares closed the day’s session at $4.490 (as on 17 January 2019) with a surge of 0.223% in the price.
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