Telstra has reported a record $2.1 billion profit for the first half of the 2015 financial year, a 21.7% increase on a year-on-year basis.
Above all the result reflects continuing success in the mobile market, with revenues growing by 9.6% and the number of mobile subscribers increasing by 366,000 over the half-year to December 2013.
But Telstra also reported positive revenue growth across most of its products with the exception of fixed services and Data and IP.
In the fixed area, voice products have continued to decline although more slowly than in previous years while fixed data revenue grew by 7.9%.
Overall, this growth has been enough to offset the impact of the sale of Telstra’s Hong Kong-based mobiles business, CSL on total sales revenue, allowing Telstra to achieve a total sales revenue increase of 0.6%. Excluding CSL, total income growth was 6.2%.
These are strong results in a market where revenue growth has been flat for some time and where companies have relied largely on cost cutting to maintain increases in overall earnings.
They represent a positive context for the negotiation of a new Enterprise Agreement in Telstra, due to kick off by the end of May this year.
Not that we expect that Telstra will open its pockets freely to its employees.
CEO David Thodey has told investors that the company’s cost control programme, which delivered nearly $0.2 billion in “productivity” benefits over the half year, would be ongoing. That is likely to mean pressure on current working conditions or more job cuts or both.
But with healthy revenue and profit growth – not to mention a steadily increasing flow of cash from its NBN agreements -Telstra can certainly not cry poor in 2015.