SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian telecoms giant Telstra on Thursday reported a bumper 21.7 per cent jump in first-half net profit on the back of strong mobile revenue with expansion in Asia to drive future earnings.
The country’s dominant telecoms firm said profit in the six months to December 31 came in at Aus$2.1 billion ($1.6 billion), up from Aus$1.7 billion in the same period last year.
Total revenue rose 1.6 per cent to Aus$13.0 billion, with interim dividends up by half a cent to 15 cents – equating to a Aus$1.8 billion return for shareholders.
Telstra’s share price ended little changed, drifting 0.62 per cent lower to close at Aus$6.45 after profit takers moved in.
Its mobile business boomed, with an extra 366,000 customers added during the reporting period, and revenue jumping 9.6 per cent to Aus$5.3 billion.
But the fixed-line business continued to decline with earnings down 1.7 per cent to Aus$3.5 billion.
Chief executive David Thodey said Telstra’s strategy of improving customer service was paying off, driving value from its core business.
“Our customers remain our highest priority,” he said.
“We are committed to improving the way we interact with our customers every day, providing more personalised service as well as being more responsive to their needs by keeping them informed, delivering new products and services as well as offering better value.”