KCom secures ‘market-leading’ take-up in East Yorkshire

KCom executive chairman Bill Halbert
KCom executive chairman Bill Halbert
Have your say

KCOM today said it planned to focus its investment on fibre deployment in its traditional heartlands of Hull and East Yorkshire.

The company, which was publishing its interim results to September 30, said it had accelerated fibre deployment in East Yorkshire, with “market leading” take-up.

However, KCom also revealed that its half year pre-tax profits fell to £17.7m from £24.6m, when compared with the same period the previous year.

Chief executive Bill Halbert said: “Our transformation continues to progress well. At the beginning of the year, we came together under a single brand enabling us to simplify the way we work.

“We are investing more in our systems and changing the size and skills of our teams, in order to focus more tightly on our strategic growth areas of Enterprise and Hull and East Yorkshire.

“The disposal of certain national network assets last year was a fundamental part of our journey.

“The proceeds received gave us the opportunity to increase investment in our focus areas and has enabled us to continue to restructure the business.

“Within our Enterprise segment, there is an ongoing shift towards more complex high value customer solutions. We are becoming recognised as a trusted technology partner for organisations looking to exploit communications and IT services to achieve their business ambitions.

“We are in the process of implementing such solutions for Bupa, Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and Shoosmiths, while strengthening also relationships with other key customers, such as HMRC and National Farmers Union Mutual (NFUM).

“Within Hull and East Yorkshire, our accelerated fibre deployment continues to achieve market leading take-up rates and we remain on target to make ultrafast services available to two thirds of our customer base by December 2017.

The group’s interim dividend will be 2.00p per share and we re-confirm our commitment to a minimum full year dividend of 6.00p per share for this and the next financial year.”

Commenting on the outlook, KCom said: “We remain confident in our ability to exploit the opportunities that exist in our chosen markets, under our new single brand.

“Investment plans will be focused on fibre deployment in Hull and East Yorkshire, transformation of our existing network technologies, and on systems, processes, skills and capabilities. We are creating a simplified business which can operate on a reduced cost base and generate sustainable value for shareholders.

“As previously outlined, capital expenditure is likely to peak over this year and the subsequent year, as we continue the fibre deployment and other key near term investments.

“As we focus investment more tightly around Enterprise and our Hull and East Yorkshire market, we expect to see continued revenue decline in other legacy areas. This trend is expected to continue during the second half of the financial year.

“The board remains confident in the continued transformation of the business and the sustainable value creating opportunities it will unlock in the medium term.”