Telstra adds 958,000 mobile customers in six months

The telco reports positive results in the first half of its 2012 financial year

Telstra has lured 958,000 new mobile customers onto its network in the first half of its 2012 financial year.

Results were announced at the company’s half-year results briefing in Melbourne.

While Telstra experienced a 17 per cent fall in annual profit in its 2011 financial year, it had predicted improvements in revenues and earnings in 2012.

In its September quarter update last year, the company had started to experience strong growth in customer numbers.

Out of new mobile customer numbers, 338,000 were post-paid handheld clients and 436,000 were mobile broadband users. This pushed domestic mobile revenue growth to 10.9 per cent to $4.39 billion.

Mobile hardware revenue jumped by 14.7 per cent to $655 million.

Mobile post-paid handheld average revenue per user (ARPU) was down slightly to $63.76 but this is considered to be a steady decline.

Churn rates in the mobile sector is now at 13.2 per cent, much lower than the 16.8 per cent rates seen in 2010.

The telco wooed 106,000 new fixed broadband customers and added 206,000 bundled services customers. It now has a total of more than 1.2 million bundled customers.

Telstra reported a total revenue increase of 1.1 per cent to $12.42 billion. Sales revenue was up by 1.2 per cent to $12.4 billion.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up 3.7 per cent to $4.75 billion.

Net profit after tax rose by 22.5 per cent to $1.48 billion.

Telstra’s wholesale division saw an income decline of 5.1 per cent as ULL growth continues to put pressure on resale revenue. The retail group, however, grew by 3.5 per cent.

Telstra CEO, David Thodey, highlighted two divisions that have seen disappointing results. Sensis, which has now been reshuffled into the Telstra digital media division, experienced a sales revenue drop of 24 per cent to $528 million. This was no surprise as the business has been struggling for some time.

Telstra Business income was down slightly, by 0.5 per cent, to $2,365 million.

On the flip side, Telstra’s Network Application Services (NAS), which encompasses the telco’s Cloud computing segment, saw a revenue growth of 19.4 per cent to $579 million thanks to improved capabilities and major contract wins.

In terms of customer service, Thodey noted call volumes to its contact centres dropped 28 per cent while TIO complaints were also fell - down 24 per cent.

The Telstra CEO addressed the company’s involvement with the National Broadband Network (NBN). The telco had submitted a revised structural separation undertaking (SSU) to the ACCC late last year. The document has been criticised by a number of its competitors.

“We’re working constructively with ACCC and we’re making progress,” Thodey said.

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