Optus has put $140 million aside as an ‘exceptional expense’ towards recovery activities following its mass cyber security breach in September.
This was revealed in the telco’s half-yearly report ending 30 September. The $140 million will cover the expected costs of actions such as replacing identity documents and investments towards lifting its cyber security capabilities.
Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said it was committed to rebuilding trust following the cyber attack on its customers.
“We recognise how painful the exposure of personal information from the cyberattack on Optus customers has been and we are deeply sorry,” she said. “We have listened to our customers’ feedback and are committed to finding improvements and ensuring a safer future against cyber crime.
“We are today announcing a series of commitments and investments to further lift our cyber capabilities, to provide additional protections for our customers and to share insights to help protect other organisations and the communities in which we operate.”
These commitments include enhancements to Optus’ cyber capabilities, providing customers with more information and tools, investment in building Australia’s cyber research and skills and sharing learnings with communities and organisations.
For the half year, Optus delivered increased revenue and earnings before tax driven by strong momentum in customer growth and a rebound in international travel. Operating revenue increased 1 per cent year-on-year to just under $4 billion while earnings before tax jumped 2.2 per cent to $1 billion.
NBN migration revenue less than $0.5 million in the current period, compared to $51 million in the last corresponding half year, with customer migrations tapering off.
While no monetary figures were provided, mobile service revenue grew 2 per cent, with customer growth, stronger roaming from the continued recovery of international travel and a higher prepaid active base.
Mobile equipment sales grew 4.2 per cent, with supply constraints gradually easing and retail footfall improving post-COVID lockdowns.
Mobile average revenue per user (ARPU), however, fell slightly by a nondisclosed amount, mainly due to a higher mix of prepaid customers, lower carriage revenue from domestic roaming, and a decline in insurance revenue due to the sale of this business.
The telco's mobile customer base grew 304,000 in the first half year, reflecting prepaid growth of 182,000, due to improved domestic foot traffic and the return of international travel.
The post-paid mobile customer base grew 75,000 from half a year ago due to lower churn and continued uptake in Choice plans and connected devices grew 47,000, driven by the success of product campaigns.
Home revenue was up 4.2 per cent, due mainly to 8.7 per cent growth in NBN broadband revenue from higher ARPU on price increases and customer growth.
Additionally, 5G fixed wireless access revenues also rose by a nondisclosed amount.
Optus Enterprise and Business (EB) secured a range of key unspecified customer wins, expanding Business Centre coverage and launching the Optus Campus Network in September with 5G wireless to support advanced automated operations for customers in the government sector.