NZ's Telecom H1 profit falls
WELLINGTON Feb 22 (Reuters) - New Zealand's Telecom Corp Ltd reported a fall in first half profit, as revenues shrank due to lower prices and volumes, the company said on Friday.
The country's top telecommunications company posted an adjusted net profit of NZ$162 million ($135.25 million) in the six months to Dec 31, compared with an adjusted NZ$240 million a year ago.
Telecom's bottom line net profit last year was NZ$1 billion, which reflected a significant non-cash gain from its demerger in late 2011, when it split off its fixed-line network operations into Chorus Ltd.
It announced a dividend of 8 cents per share, down from 9 cents last year.
Shares in Telecom, New Zealand's second largest company by market capitalisation, closed at NZ$2.205 on Thursday. It has been flat so far this year, compared with a 3 percent rise in the benchmark NZX-50 index.
Telecom offers retail fixed-line and internet services, using Chorus's network, but sells mobile services using the network infrastructure it retained.
It competes with the local arm of British mobile operator Vodafone, which last year bought fixed line operator TelstraClear, as well as a host of smaller mobile and internet service retail providers.
Earlier this week Telecom said it would join Vodafone and Australia's Telstra to build a submarine cable between New Zealand and Australia, offering increased capacity and speeds. ($1 = 1.1977 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu)
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