Spark New Zealand unveiled plans to establish an infrastructure subsidiary to generate revenue from its tower assets and explore bringing in capital from third parties.

In a fiscal H1 2022 (ending 31 December 2021) earnings statement, Spark CEO Jolie Hodson (pictured) explained a shared ownership model could be an effective way of improving returns from infrastructure assets.

The operator aims to transfer its passive mobile tower assets comprising more than 1,500 sites into Spark TowerCo, seeking gains in usage and capital efficiency by expanding coverage and increasing tenancy, she noted.

Spark conducted a review of its infrastructure portfolio in fiscal 2021.

Hodson added Spark would retain a stake and remain a key anchor tenant even if it opts to tap third-party capital.

Spark reported being on track to upgrade about 50 per cent of nationwide sites to 5G by end-June, with plans to add service in ten new locations.

Fiscal H1 net profit grew 21.8 per cent year-on-year to NZD179 million ($121.6 million), with revenue up 5.2 per cent to NZD1.9 billion.

Mobile service revenue rose 5 per cnet to NZD441 million. IoT connections grew 31 per cent to 623,000.

Broadband revenue fell 3.9 per cent to NZD324 million, attributed to competitive pressure, and its cloud, security and service management unit improved 3.2 per cent to NZD224 million.

Capex was up 14.7 per cent to NZD218 million.

Full-year capex guidance is NZD400 million, up 14.6 per cent.