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VITAL returns to Dividend: Profit after tax $4.05 million

VITAL Limited (NZX: VTL), the publicly listed telecommunications services provider today announced its annual result for the financial year ended 30 June 2019. Profit after tax was $4.05m.

Vital is pleased to announce that in line with previous announcements that we are returning to a dividend. This is testament to the hard work and transformation that the executive and team have been focused on over the last three years.

The Directors have declared a fully imputed dividend of 3.0 cents per share payable on 18 October. The record date for entitlement to the dividend is Friday 4 October.

VITAL’s Chief Executive Andrew Miller said: “Today is truly the point where we start delivering back to our shareholders. We have many loyal shareholders who have been waiting for us to get to this day and we are confident that going forward not only is a dividend sustainable but that it will increase over the future years following completion of our investment into infrastructure.”

The last 12 months has seen the business move from planning and preparation to implementation of the planned investments into our infrastructure which will enable the company to deliver new products and services. We have been able to accelerate the investment into new services which will enable the company to achieve profitable growth thanks to the successful capital raise which raised $8.2m within the last year.

These investments combined with the successful rebrand earlier this year places the company in a good position for profitable growth over the next few years.

As at the end of June we have completed phase 1 of our new nationwide digital radio network which has built out 106 sites across New Zealand, all of which have come in on budget and within the planned timeline. These sites provide similar coverage to our existing nationwide analogue networks. The investment has included putting in a new IP network along with upgrading infra-structure such as poles, towers, power systems and back up batteries.

Our programme to transition 32Km of our 250Km fibre network within Wellington underground is also progressing well and is also on budget. The first phases which include civil works and the subsequent hauling of cable through the ducts is progressing well and the majority will be completed by the end of the year. Target date for completion of this programme is December 2020 which takes into account upgrading our network in Auckland and migration of customers, but the majority of the capital expenditure will be completed by June 2020.

Andrew Miller said: “We remain on track with our five-year plan. These are complex programmes of work and to be able to report that they are all within budget and on time is a testament to the skillset of both our teams and our partners. We are getting to the exciting part of the plan, introducing new services and focusing on profitable growth.”

Vital has signed exclusivity agreements within the last year with TASSTA for the supply of a Push-to-talk-over-cellular solution which integrates with Digital Radio andWireless Innovation for the supply of an integrated Push-to-talk solution which offers a unified solution across Cellular, Radio and Satellite.

Vital Chairman Roger Sowry said: “The Board is delighted to be able to announce that we are returning to dividend. This is a result of the strategy set in early 2017 which has seen debt reduce to its lowest level in over 10 years whilst making substantial investments into our infrastructure which we are confident will deliver significant returns to our shareholders.”

Vital will provide an update on earnings guidance at the AGM in October.

Ends

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