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Vocus chairman sorry for 'unpleasant' year

2017-10-24 08:39:12    来源:    编辑:

   Vocus chairman Vaughan Bowen has apologised to the data network company's shareholders for what he says was "not a good year".

  Mr Bowen described 2016/17 as an "exceptionally intense" and "unpleasant period" after management changes, an earnings guidance downgrade and a $1.5 billion writedown that followed a series of acquisitions and mergers.

  "The short-term pain Vocus has experienced and, in turn, forced our shareholders to experience, is something we apologise for without reservation - and state our commitment to restoring shareholder value as our priority, above all else," Mr Bowen told the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday.

  Australia's fourth-largest telco, which owns corporate data networks as well as retail brands Dodo and iPrimus, reported a $1.46 billion full-year loss in August following a two-year expansion spree that included the purchase of Amcom and Nextgen, plus a merger with rival M2 Group.

  Mr Bowen said the telecommunication sector overall also had a challenging year.

  "The board and senior leadership team have moved decisively over recent months to address the issues that led to our under-performance in FY17, and in turn the balance sheet writedown, once again, with the overriding objective of restoring value for shareholders," Mr Bowen said.

  Chief executive Geoff Horth said the company's financial performance did not live up to expectations and also apologised for a "disappointing" year.

  He said Vocus has taken significant steps to restore value for shareholders, which should benefit earnings in 2017/18 and beyond.

  Vocus said on Monday it plans to sell the unit operating NZ broadband providers Orcon and Slingshot by the end of the current financial year.

  It has also appointed advisers for the sale of its Australian Data Centre assets.

  All proceeds will be used to slash debt and provide further strategic options.

  Mr Horth on Tuesday said the company's first-quarter trading was in line with its forecasts and reaffirmed Vocus' 2018 full-year guidance, targeting earnings between $370 million and $390 million.

  Vocus shares were steady at $2.80 at 1126 AEDT.

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