08 Jun 2012
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Telecom to de-list from NYSE

By Mike Borgfeldt

Telecom has announced its intention to de-list its American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) from the New York Stock Exchange, as part of a broader strategy of reducing administration costs and business complexity.

All going to plan, the ADRs’ last day of trading will be July 9, and the delisting will be complete on July 19.

Nick Olson, CFO of Telecom, says Telecom’s ordinary shares will continue to be listed and traded on the NZX and ASX.

"We are leaving no stone unturned in our drive to reduce costs and complexity,” Olson says, "and delisting from the NYSE is a logical step in this process.

"However, we remain committed to our US investor base and will retain high standards of corporate governance and continue to provide comprehensive and transparent financial reporting.”

The announcement comes as Telecom issues its financial guidance for the second half of its 2012 financial year, forecasting EBITDA of around $560 million and net earnings ‘near the top end’ of its $160m to $190m guidance range.

Acting Telecom CEO Chris Quin says this result can be attributed to the strategy of reducing costs.

"During the first quarter of calendar 2012 there was an increase in competitive activity in the fixed line and mobile markets,” Quin says.

"However, despite increased competition, our focus on reducing costs sees us on track to deliver EBITDA guidance as planned.”

"Competitors have been very active with a variety of new offers, which has increased customer churn. We are firmly focused on responding and improving customer retention, for example, adding value to our products such as increased data caps on broadband plans.”

In the mobile space, Telecom’s prepaid base has continued to decline in anticipation of the CDMA network shutdown, Quin adds, especially as the company concentrates its efforts on the more lucrative postpaid market.

The news comes after a week of speculation about the future structure of the telecommunications market in New Zealand, after Telstra revealed on Tuesday it is in discussions with Vodafone about selling its New Zealand subsidiary, TelstraClear. Commentators have speculated that the sale could ‘clear the decks’ for Telstra to purchase Telecom.

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