One of the companies launched by Brisbane tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery keeps losing money
One of the companies launched by Brisbane tech entrepreneur Bevan Slattery keeps losing money

Brisbane tech entrepreneur cops another loss

LAWS OF GRAVITY

He may be on the verge of building a revolutionary new $1.5bn digital superhighway to provide exceptionally fast broadband to link up all of Australia's capital cities.

But Rich Lister Bevan Slattery, the Brisbane tech entrepreneur and serial investor with an astute eye for picking undervalued stocks, is still subject to the laws of gravity.

Evidence of this emerged Tuesday, when his listed tech firm Superloop unveiled disappointing half-year results largely as a result of pandemic-induced pressures in the hospitality and student accommodation sectors.

The company, which he launched in 2014 to connect Australia and the Asia Pacific to the cloud, suffered an $18.8m net loss in the six months to December. That sent the stock price down 8 per cent to close at 95 cents.

Bevan Slattery
Bevan Slattery

Although unwelcome, the red ink was hardly surprising. Superloop reported a $21.3m loss in the same period last year. It also endured eye-watering full-year losses of $72m and $41m in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Still, it wasn't all bad news for the Brisbane-based outfit, which operates about 640km of fibre network linking more than 280 sites across the nation, as well as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Revenue lifted nearly 5 per cent to $53.2m as margins grew for both connectivity and home broadband services. It reaffirmed guidance of $18m to $20m in pre-tax earnings for the whole year.

Superloop also announced its biggest single contract to date this week, a multi-year deal worth more than $25m with communications group Symbio.

Slattery, who still remains the company's chairman and biggest single shareholder, hopes to start work next year on his $1.5bn "HyperOne'' project if support coalesces from both private investors and the federal government. It would see 20,000 km of fibre optic cable laid across the nation by 2025.

GOING GREEN

Another day, another big Aussie corporate giant going fully green-or so it seems.

We learned on Tuesday that Coca-Cola Amatil is the latest group to commit to sourcing all its power from renewable sources by 2025. Yes, it's the real thing!

The soft drink colossus, which is a major energy user, has also vowed to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, a full decade before the federal government's same stated goal.

It joins the likes of Woolworths, Bunnings and Telstra in flagging its eco credentials.

Greenies welcomed the move but couldn't help noting that Coca-Cola remains in the business of selling single-use plastic drink bottles, which, as we all know, are rapidly falling out of favour for obvious reasons.

How to solve that thorny issue, however, remains unclear.

ECO BOND FUND

Speaking of doing your bit for the environment, an Aussie investment group has just launched what it claims is the nation's "first corporate focused, green and sustainable bond fund''.

Artesian Capital Management announced this month that the fund would provide a diverse portfolio of assets that would otherwise be quite difficult for investors to source themselves.

The company, which oversees about $800m in funds under management, is a niche fixed income and venture capital fund manager. It's already been trading "green'' bonds from its outposts in New York and London for the past five years.

Originally published as Brisbane tech entrepreneur cops another loss



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