Data sovereignty tensions a boon for NextDC
“This is an infrastructure business it takes years to build,” he said and pointed to customer numbers which were up 15 per cent to 1,364 and included technology heavyweights such as Microsoft and IBM.
NextDC’s shares soared to $12.25 on the back of the resuts, a high for the year, and closed out the session at $11.95.
Mr Scroggie said it had been a “crazy” six months as Australians grappled with bushfires, floods and now COVID-19.
“We certainly got all of the greatest challenges that were probably sent to test us both in an enterprise and a consumer sense, but that is essentially what the data centre is built for it’s built to be able to continue to provide services despite all of those some man-made and some natural disasters.”
The pandemic brought forward demand from NextDC’s customers as employees shifted to working from home and traffic to platforms such as Zoom and Netflix surged.
Mr Scroggie said five years worth of demand had accelerated into five or six months and this was a permanent shift forward with NextDC likely to record an “even bigger year” next financial year.
NextDC raised $862 million during the year and invested $470 million in two new data centres in Sydney and Perth and $261 million to acquire Asia Pacific Data Centre Group last year.
It is in the middle of building a second data centre in Melbourne with another recently acquired and has started construction of a third data centre in Sydney.
“That will represent many more billions of dollars worth of investment in the underlying digital infrastructure that will power the growth of Australia’s digital economy, so more of what we saw last year,” Mr Scroggie said.
Conor O’Prey, analyst at Canaccord, said the capital raise had left NextDC “awash with liquidity” and the company was “well set up” for the next financial year with “progress on all fronts”.
The company won’t pay a dividend.