KCOM confident despite fall in H1 revenue, profit

Hull-based communications firm KCOM said its group revenue fell 8.5% to £151.3 million driven by expected decline in legacy activities within National Network Services and profit before tax fell 8.1% to £14.8 million in the six months to September 30.

KCOM said it is on track to make fibre available to the final 25% of premises in Hull & East Yorkshire addressable market by March 2019.

KCOM CEO Bill Halbert: “In the context of today’s economic and political uncertainties, our results demonstrate encouraging progress.

“Our headline performance was offset by the expected decline in the legacy activities in National Network Services and ongoing issues with previously identified software development contracts within Enterprise.

“In Hull & East Yorkshire, we achieved particularly strong growth in the residential market.

“The take-up of fibre services across our broadband base has remained robust at 44%.

“Building on the success of the current fibre investment, we are pleased to announce plans to complete the final stage of this deployment, making fibre available to all premises within our addressable market by March 2019.

“In Enterprise, despite performance having been affected in the first half by the slowdown in government spending caused by the General Election and by continuing issues with the previously identified software development contracts, there was underlying growth alongside new contract wins and renewals.

“The interim dividend is 2.00 pence per share as per our stated commitment, an indication of medium term confidence.”

In its outlook, KCOM said: “The investments we are making, particularly in Hull & East Yorkshire, will deliver long term sustainable value. We therefore remain confident about our prospects in the medium term.

“We will complete the deployment of the current phase of our fibre plans in December and begin to make fibre available to the final 25% of premises in our addressable market.

“We plan also to start implementing a number of over the top services to monetise further this investment, as we begin to migrate value from infrastructure to services.

“In Enterprise, the investment we have made in management and key skills is expected to generate further growth in the medium term.

“In National Network Services, we expect the decline in legacy services to continue in the second half. We continue to manage this decline to maximise value for the group.

“The interim dividend of 2.00 pence is in line with current dividend commitment of a minimum full year dividend of 6.00 pence per share, which is in place for the current financial year.”