The manager of Netlink NBN Trust has reported a 12.4% growth in profit after tax (PAT) of $23.5 million for 1Q21 ended June, from $20.9 million a year ago.

Revenue for the period fell 3.3% y-o-y to $89.0 million, mainly due to the lower installation-related revenue and diversion revenue, which were affected by the pandemic. The lower revenue was offset by higher revenue from higher residential connections.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 3.4% y-o-y to $68.8 million, and EBITDA margin rose 5.0 percentage points to 77.3% primarily attributable to the higher proportion of revenue from residential connections and from the government relief grants.

Recurring revenue from fibre connections increased by $2.9 million mainly due to the higher number of residential connections. As at end June, there were around 1.43 million residential connections compared to the 1.38 million registered a year ago.

Installation-related revenue fell by $4.7 million due to fewer installation orders and service activations compared to a year ago due to StarHub migrating its coaxial cable subscribers onto fibre.

In addition, Covid-19-related issues affected the availability of contractor resources, as well as restricted access to homes and buildings, which affected the completion of installation works.

Diversion revenue fell by $0.9 million due to fewer completed and billed projects due to stoppages of construction work during the circuit breaker measures.

As at end June, the trust reported net cash from operating activities of $65.1 million, $8.6 million higher from a year ago, mainly due to higher profits and cash received for property tax rebates.

The trust did not report any further figures.

Looking ahead, Netlink NBN Trust says the reduced availability of contractors’ resources has affected its capacity to fulfil service requests, although the delay is not expected to have any negative effects in the long-term.

Units in Netlink NBN Trust closed 0.5 cents higher, or 0.5% up, at 97 cents on August 5.