The company reported total income of $12 billion for the six months, a drop of 10.4% over the corresponding period for the previous financial year. Profit was down by 2.2% to $1.1 billion, which means the amount it pays out as dividend — $950 million — will be only slightly less than its profit.
Chief executive Andrew Penn said the results showed Telstra’s financial performance was at a turning point ahead of an anticipated return to growth in underlying EBITDA.
“After a decade of disruption following the creation of the NBN, and with its rollout now declared complete, we can clearly see the path to underlying growth ahead of us,” he said.
We are now less than 18 months from completing T22. We have achieved an extraordinary amount and Telstra today is a leaner, more responsive, and more agile company than it has ever been.
“Our investment in innovation and technology, digitisation and networks, improving our customer experience and being disciplined in our capital management, mean that at the start of this decade, as Australia digitises its economy, Telstra is in a strong position to grow.
“To ensure our future success, we must recognise this moment for what it is – the time to be bold and seize the opportunities we have been patiently building towards.
"There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I remain confident we can achieve our financial ambitions including for underlying EBITDA of between $7.5 and $8.5 billion and return on invested capital of around 8% by FY23.”
The company said it had added more than 80,000 post-paid handheld mobile services with healthy performance across all segments and brands.
It also added more than 46,000 unique pre-paid handheld users, and more than 163,000 wholesale mobile services across pre-paid, post-paid and IoT
The company's 5G network expanded to cover more than 50% of the Australian population and was delivering coverage to more than 100 cities and towns, the telco said.
A million 5G mobile devices are now connected to Telstra’s network.