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Amcom menu serves up more than just fibre

JUNIOR telco Amcom Telecommunications is looking to venture beyond its optic fibre-based operations and become a total broadband solutions provider.

The company last week announced it had achieved its third consecutive quarter of profitable operations and a net profit of $1.6 million for the six months to December 31 2001.

The result came from revenue of $5.1 million, a rise of 28 per cent on the same period in 2000, though Amcom said much of this performance could be attributed to data carriage revenue, the company’s core business, which offers higher margins than other operations and which was responsible for $4.1 million of the overall profit. Revenue from this area increased by 105 per cent.

Amcom also received a one-off net gain on the sell down and deconsolidation of Amcom IPI of $2.8 million. (This figure was not included as general revenue.)

Amcom is now a minority (26 per cent) shareholder in Amcom IP1, with investment group ABN Amro Morgans holding the bulk of the company.

Excluding the sell-down effect of the Amcom IP1 transaction, Amcom delivered its maiden positive half-year EBITDA result of $700,000, a positive turnaround of $1.8 million from the previous corresponding period EBITDA loss of $1.1 million.

Amcom executive chairman Tony Grist described the result as a watershed for the company and said Amcom’s core business should continue to grow.

He said the company was investigating technologies other than optic fibre for its broadband services, and was negotiating with large overseas companies for the rollout of its DSL strategy.

Mr Grist said Amcom was evolving from being just a small utility known for owning a lot of fibre-optic cable into being a more complete service provider that could offer greater network coverage in Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart, the cities in which it operates.

He said the company’s new strategy would not require a large capital outlay.

“We’re expanding without having to write the cheque, and we’re creating a much broader solution,” Mr Grist said.

“It involves an alliance with some DSL vendors that will effectively finance the rollout of our DSL strategy, and that adds on to our fibre network.

“The equipment vendors (will) end up effectively having a share in the carrier cashflows.

“We’ll be able to provide services to SMEs as well.

“The lower-end services are quite inexpensive – in terms of per-monthly, broadband always-on access – whereas now we tend to stay with large government and corporate enterprises and other wholesale carriers.”

Amcom says its broadband network is accessible to all major business and industrial centres within the Perth CBD and the greater metropolitan area.

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