NBN Co has recorded a loss of $4.24 billion for the year to June 30, taking total losses over the last four years to $10.7 billion.
It’s a major increase from last year’s $2.75 billion loss, but is within expectations for the NBN rollout, which has been geared up dramatically over the past year.
The rollout plan does not expect the company to become cashflow-positive before about 2021, as the rollout is completed.
NBN Co chairman Ziggy Switkowski told The Australian the latest result was equal to, or better than, what NBN had planned for.
“It’s perfectly understandable that in these early years, as the annual revenue moves through the billion-dollar mark on its way to approximately $5bn in the early 2020s, that the costs have outpaced the revenues by a very wide margin,” Switkowski said.
“After all, we’re spending $49bn to get to this business in shape. By around 2021 we should be cash flow positive – so the numbers are very consistent with the plan.”
NBN Co says it now has 5.7 million properties ready for service – up 97 per cent from a year earlier – and so far has activated some 2.4 million properties.
Switkowski also defended the payment of CEO Bill Morrow, which came in at $3.56 million for the year to June 30.
“Dollar-for-dollar, there probably is no more productive and better performing CEO in the land than Bill Morrow,” said Ziggy.