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iiNet eyes NBN network for growth


As trucks arrive in towns across Australia to roll out the $37 billion national broadband network (NBN), the iiNet sales team won't be far behind.

Australia's number three telecommunications provider hopes to increase its customer base off the back of the hi-tech fibre-to-the-home network.

iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said while the NBN roll out is still in its early stages, iiNet had signed up about 2000 subscribers, most of whom were opting for higher-end plans.

"We're basically following the NBN trucks around the country," he told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.

"And we're looking forward to the regional opportunity that will come from that."

Mr Malone's comments came as the country's second-biggest DSL internet service provider by subscribers posted an 11 per cent rise in net profit for the year to June 30.

Profit rose to a record $37.1 million from the $33.3 million in the previous year.

iiNet is looking to sell more products to customers and increase its business subscriber base in the year ahead.

"We've got well over 800,000 customers, and we want to make sure we understand those customers and that they want to buy the most products from us as possible," Mr Malone said.

"In our residential business, we want to get to three products per customer as quickly as we can."

Mr Malone said the company will also try to boost mobile sales over the year.

"In mobile, essentially we're trying to meet what we think is the untapped market for customers to be able to pick and mix between handset and sim plan," he said.

He said a key opportunity for organic growth was in the business customer market, which iiNet recently bulked up after buying Canberra-based internet provider TransACT in late 2011.

"We've reported $120 million or our revenue from business customers so that's something we really need to focus hard on organisationally, and we're putting in place the platform there to really try and grow that segment further," he said.

But a downside to the growth was its subsidiary AAPT, where it was shedding subscriber numbers.

Mr Malone said while AAPT was in a decline mode, the company was in the final stages of moving the AAPT billing process over to iiNet.

Shares in iiNet closed three cents higher at $3.55.