TPG Telecom CEO and MD Inaki Berroeta expressed confidence of registering faster service revenue growth in H2 after subscriber gains started to translate into improved earnings in the first half.

Berroeta explained on an earnings call the first half was something of an inflection point, with momentum building for growth in H2.

“After a sustained period of negative headwinds, service revenue was modestly up year-over-year.”

He noted the company is on track to hit a post-merger target to cut costs by AUD125 million ($86.4 million) to AUD150 million in 2022, a year earlier than originally planned.

Net profit more than doubled to AUD167 million, due to recognising AUD110 million of capital tax losses to be used against a tower assets sale and lower financing costs.

Service revenue was flat at AUD2.2 billion. Handset sales declined 3.1 per cent to AUD436 million.

Post-paid ARPU grew 2.2 per cent to AUD42, supported by a partial recovery in international roaming. Prepaid was steady at AUD19.

Prepaid subscribers increased 4.3 per cent to nearly 2 million and post-paid remained at 2.9 million.

Capex rose 17.4 per cent to AUD485 million as TPG Telecom stepped up a 5G rollout.

It aims to deploy an additional 500 5G sites in the second half to take the total to 2,000, with plans to add 1,000 sites per year until the mid-2020s.