KCom is back in the black for the first time in five years.
The Hull-headquartered telecommunications and broadband provider has recorded a profit of £5.6 million in the year to April, reversing a long run of losses. It was a period that saw it change hands, sell off its national IT interests and overcome the challenge of Covid, while facing increased competition.
Revenues were up £500,000 from £100.7 million to £101.2 million, and with huge investment plans now in place under the ownership of Australian infrastructure giant Macquarie, chief executive Tim Shaw has told how KCom is in a “strong position to move forward for future success”.
It has already embarked upon a £100 million ‘Full Fibre Future’ investment campaign, including a £62 million network expansion that will take the footprint to 350,000 premises, while spending £20 million to add a further 14,000 properties in East Yorkshire and upgrade existing fibre to reach industry-leading speeds.
In the strategic review accompanying the results, Mr Shaw said: “The expansion of our full fibre broadband network has progressed as planned with the help of our own internal construction teams. We have now reached more than 20 new towns and villages outside of our traditional network heartland of Hull and East Yorkshire.
“We also announced arguably the largest infrastructure project in KCom history to invest a further £17 million upgrading the ageing copper phone landline network in Hull and East Yorkshire to full fibre. This project is now underway and will migrate 170,000 homes and businesses across our network within the next two years putting KCom and our region at the forefront of UK innovation once again.”
The financial year saw a total of £32.8 million invested in the full fibre expansion and migration. It has also committed to hit Net Zero operations by 2040, with the removal of copper a major step in energy sustainability.
On the results, Mr Shaw said: “Despite the backdrop of economic uncertainty, high inflation and rising costs – especially energy costs which have doubled for two years running – we have recorded another solid year of results with a growth in both revenue and EBITDA. This has been driven by an encouraging uptake of full fibre broadband services within our traditional heartland areas as well as winning new customers in our expansion areas.
“Our wholesale business has continued to perform solidly with more than 150 reseller partners now providing services over our expanding network.
“This has been another pivotal year for KCom, entering a phase of disciplined and carefully planned expansion, winning new fibre customers in core and expansion areas and developing our wholesale offering. We have done this while focusing on our role as a leading regional broadband provider and setting the foundations for future growth. We are now in a strong position to move forward for future success.”
Wholesale saw the largest increase, up from £8.3 million to £10.3 million, with consumer numbers also up by just over £1 million to £67.3 million and business down from £25.3 million to £23.4 million.
Staff numbers were down from 791 to 760 in continuing operations, having seen more than 450 transferred to Nasstar as part of the deal to buy the national ICT operation, completed in summer 2021. A total of 75 worked in Hull for the element that accounted for £166 million of the £262 million revenues KCom had seen prior to the £31.4 million acquisition.
The past financial year, which included four months of operation, saw revenues of £44.6 million, with a £3.4 million profit.
Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber