Investing in new businesses and growing its telecommunications services across Asia are two key elements for Telstra’s ambitious growth plans this year.
For the first half of 2015 financial year, the telco saw a jump in income, profit and customer growth.
Net profit was up 21.7 per cent to $2.1 billion and earnings before tax increased 0.5 per cent to $5.3 billion. Total income (excluding finance income) increased 1.6 per cent to $13 billion while capital expenditure decreased 4.7 per cent to $1.7 billion.
Telstra CEO, David Thodey, said the results demonstrated Telstra’s strategy of improving customer advocacy, driving value from its core business and building new growth businesses continued to create value for shareholders.
The completion of the Pacnet acquisition in the middle of the year, will increase the scale and compatibility of its fixed infrastructure, network density and reach across the Asia Pacific region, he said.
The telco has also seen growth in the number of connected tablets and data sharing. Revenue from its mobile business increased 9.6 per cent to $5.3 billion and fixed data revenue grew 7.8 per cent as more customers shifted towards bundled plans. This also led to the telco’s lowest rate of decline in its fixed voice business, which experienced 6.9 per cent in decreased revenue. Overall, its fixed business declined 1.7 per cent to $3.5 billion.
“Our 4G coverage is now at 90 per cent of the Australian population and we aim to have 94 per cent covered by the middle of the year," Thodey said.
"We also launched our new 4GX services as a result of a $1.25 billion investment in 700 MHz spectrum, which is now offering customers in more than 1000 towns and suburbs some of the fastest mobile data speeds in the world, with top speeds on compatible devices on 4GX up to twice as fast as 4G. There are already over one million 4GX compatible devices in customers hands today and that number will grow during the year.
“Our focus on the customer has led to the addition of 366,000 new retail mobile customer services, 87,000 new retail fixed broadband customers and 127,000 new customers on a fixed bundle."
The telco’s Network Application and Services (NAS) product line increased 18.1 per cent to $1 billion in revenue while its international NAS business increased 28.1 per cent to $41 million.
Telstra anticipates its income and earnings before tax guidance to remain broadly flat for the full 2015 financial year.