September 2, 2019 / 12:25 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Telstra raises earnings outlook on delayed NBN rollout pain

(Adds details on outlook, context)

Sept 2 (Reuters) - Telstra raised its 2020 core earnings guidance on Monday as it anticipates the worst impact of the rollout of a state-owned broadband network to occur later than previously expected.

Australia’s largest telco by market value said it expected 2020 underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be A$7.4 billion ($5 billion) to A$7.9 billion, from the previously announced range of A$7.3 billion to A$7.8 billion.

Telstra said National Broadband Network (NBN) Co’s corporate plan for 2020 includes a reduction in the total number of premises forecast to be connected during the year to 1.5 million from 2 million.

“Telstra no longer anticipates FY20 being the year of peak NBN headwind and now estimates this will occur in FY21,” the company said in a statement.

Telstra, however, did not change its 2020 guidance for restructuring costs of A$300 million and capital expenditure in the range of A$2.9 billion to A$3.3 billion.

Telstra warned last month that the NBN rollout would cut its 2020 earnings by up to A$1 billion.

Telstra dominates Australia’s mobile telephone and broadband markets, but profit from its mainstay fixed-line phone and internet business is dwindling as the NBN replaces a copper system it had monopolised. Telstra must pay to use the new network. ($1 = 1.4806 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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