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Spark, which is New Zealand’s largest telecommunications firm - posted a significant rise of 12.7% in interim net profit – despite modest growth in mobile and broadband revenues by the company. Spark disclosed the details of its financial statement and said that net profit for the six months to December 31st was NZ$178 million (US$128 million) up from NZ$158 million twelve months previous.

Chairman, Mark Verbiest said Spark where extremely happy with the financial results – in what is a difficult and hugely competitive market. He said, “The financial results for the six months to 31 December 2016 are in line with our plan and reflect the continuing execution of Spark’s long-term strategy.”

Verbiest added that customer service levels have recovered markedly and several new market-leading offers have been launched. However, some of the key indicators in the results also highlight the challenging market and operating environment and the need for us to maintain a fast pace of change and keep delivering for our customers.

Verbiest said, “Despite vigorous price competition, top-line revenue growth has been pleasing, with total operating revenues up 4.1% on the prior half-year to $1.793 billion. While the revenue performance across mobile, broadband and IT services was good, it is clear the intense ongoing price competition, particularly at the lower end of the market, is driving margin pressure and reinforcing the need to increase our focus on our brand assets, as well as continuing to tightly manage operating and capital expenditure.”

It was further disclosed that group revenue was up 4.1% at NZ$1.8 billion – which Spark’s chairman indicated was another ‘pleasing’ result. Mobile revenue lifted 4.4% whilst broadband remained almost static at 1.5%. However, the good news didn’t extend to the stock exchange as Spark shares were down 4.31% at NZ$3.55 in the early afternoon trade in an overall market that was off 1.01%.

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