Telstra (TLS)

By Jason Fittler

TLS announced an 8.8 per cent rise in profit for the first half of fiscal 2013 to $1.6 billion.

The company declared a half-year dividend of 14 cents a share, fully franked, to be paid on 22 March 2013 and reiterated its intention to pay a dividend of 28 cents for the full 2013 financial year.

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rose 5 per cent to around $5 billion. 

Telstra reiterated that it expects low-single-digit total income and EBITDA growth for the year, with free cash flow between $4.75 billion and $5.25 billion

During the six months ended 31 December 2012, Telstra added 607,000 domestic and 321,000 international mobile customers.

Mobile revenue for the period rose 4.6 per cent to $4.56 billion.

Telstra also added 85,000 fixed retail broadband customers during the half, as well as 321,000 mobile customers to its Hong Kong mobile business.

Fixed broadband was better than expected, with both subscriber and ARPU (average revenue per user) growth.

In addition, 117,000 customers on bundled plans were added, which the Telco said brought the total number of customers on bundled plans to 1.5 million.

Telstra’s international businesses, including its investments in Asia, grew revenue by 10.8 per cent through customer growth in the Hong Kong mobile business, global connectivity and NAS products (Telstra Global).

However, digital media revenue, which includes Sensis, fell by 7.0 per cent. Sensis revenue was down 12.5 per cent.

Telstra said it commenced selling NBN retail and wholesale services during the half, and recognised revenue of $176 million under the NBN compensation agreements with the federal government.  

I continue to hold the company for the dividend. 

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