Big profits from Apple, big margins from AT&T
Apple once again posted huge financials, with the iPhone and iPad maker hitting quarterly revenue of $35bn and quarterly net profit of $8.8bn for the quarter ended June 30, an increase on the $28.6bn revenue and $7.3bn profit that it recorded in the same period last year.
However, the results were still short of analysts’ estimates, as consumers held off from buying existing products, preferring instead to wait for the fifth generation of the iPhone and the rumoured smaller iPad, both expected to be launched later this year.
Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, said: “Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter, we expect revenue of about $34bn and diluted earnings per share of about $7.65.”
In the same quarter, US operator AT&T recorded consolidated revenues of $31.6bn – marking a 0.3 per cent year-on-year increase. The company reported its best-ever wireless service margins, which it attributed to improved operating efficiencies, fewer handset upgrades and further revenue gains from its 43 million high-value smartphone subscribers.
The firm sold 501 million smartphones, with more than one-third of all postpaid smartphone subscribers now using 4G-capable devices, and postpaid wireless subscriber ARPU increased 1.7 per cent year-on-year to $64.93.
Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, said: “Our wireless margins have never been better, and most impressive, with this growth we also achieved our best-ever postpaid wireless churn.”
UK incumbent BT saw a six per cent drop in revenue, posting a £4.48bn ($6.95bn) figure, but saw profit before tax increase by eight per cent to reach £578m. CEO Ian Livingston pointed out that this was the eleventh consecutive quarter in which the firm saw double-digit earnings per share growth but noted that its Global Services division was impacted by tough market conditions in Europe.
“Our engineers are rolling out fibre at pace bringing fibre broadband to over two million more homes and businesses in the quarter and it’s now available to over 11 million premises,” he said.
“Our investment plans are creating around 2,000 jobs in 2012 by recruiting engineers to support our fibre plans and opening four new UK call centres. We continue to make good progress with our investments in the faster growing economies.”
Everything Everywhere, the company formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, announced its half-year results. Service revenue stood at £2.99bn, marking a 1.8 per cent decline on 1H11, and EBITDA fell 1.3 per cent to £673m. In 2Q12, postpaid churn stood at 1.2 per cent, 0.1 per cent higher than 2Q11.
“We are making strong progress integrating the legacy Orange and T-Mobile businesses to create cost efficiencies and deliver planned synergy targets, while investing in significant network upgrades to further improve our customer experience,” said CEO Olaf Swantee.
And finally, Chinese vendor Huawei also released its half-year results. In the six months, sales revenue increased 5.1 per cent year-on-year to reach CNY102.7bn, while operating profit grew 20.3 per cent to reach CNY8.79bn.
In the consumer space, the firm made progress in the high-end smartphone market, and said that its flagship models, the Ascend P1 and Ascend D1, have sold well in China, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada. The firm now holds 12.16 per cent market share for smartphones in China, ranking second in the market, according to Analysys International.
“In 2012, Huawei outlined our new pipe strategy and we will focus even further on this approach moving forward to ensure more effective growth and greater efficiency to drive continued improvements in operating performance,” said Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei. “We are relatively optimistic about our operating performance and profitability for the remainder of 2012.”