SYDNEY, AAP – Data centre operator NextDC has forecast greater earnings this financial year and is building sites in Melbourne and Sydney for more customers.

The ASX 100 company on Friday said underlying earnings would improve from $134.5 million in the past financial year to a range of between $160 million and $165 million.

The company continues to sign big businesses to lengthy contracts. The vast majority are in NSW and Victoria.

The company is planning seven more data centres around Australia to support growth.

Despite sales ticking over, Next DC still made a full-year statutory loss of $20.65 million. This improved on the previous full-year loss of $45.1 million.

A big reason for the loss was loan expenses of $14.2 million.

However RBC Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Atkin liked NextDC. The full-year earnings were better than RBC estimates.

Mr Atkin tipped investors to buy NextDC shares and said they would be worth $16 in the next 12 months.

Shareholders will not be paid a dividend for the full-year. This is the same outcome as the prior one.

Investors sent shares lower by 5.04 per cent to $12.80 at 1548 AEST.