Australia-based TPG Telecom recorded drops in profit and mobile service revenue in H1, as travel restrictions caused declines in subscriber numbers and international roaming.

In a statement, CEO Inaki Berroeta explained TPG Telecom performed well in an environment with continued Covid-19 (coronavirus) headwinds, NBN margin erosion and a new Regional Broadband Scheme levy.

The CEO also cited “residual challenges” from a delayed merger and “5G vendor restrictions” as challenges in the period.

Berroeta said H1 results demonstrated a solid underlying performance achieved through AUD38 million ($27 million) in merger cost reductions: “Through the groundwork we have laid across the company, we are now in a stronger position to take advantage of our growth potential”.

Net profit fell 8 per cent year-on-year to AUD76 million, with TPG Telecom citing an impact from an AUD226 million one-off income tax credit in H1 2020.

Total service revenue increased 86.1 per cent to AUD2.2 billion. Consumer mobile fell 5.1 per cent to AUD890 million due to declines in subscriber numbers and roaming, and handset sales rose 11.2 per cent to AUD487 million.

Year-on-year comparisons for the six-month period aren’t equivalent, as a merger with Vodafone Hutchison Australia was completed in mid-2020.

Mobile subscribers dropped 9.4 per cent to 5.1 million, with H1 losses falling to 136,000 from 737,000 in the same period of 2020. Post-paid subscribers were down 4.8 per cent to 3.2 million.

Post-paid ARPU declined 5.1 per cent to AUD38.90 and prepaid rose 9.3 per cent to AUD18.90.