Telstra profits surge on mobile, cloud growth

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Telstra profits surge on mobile, cloud growth

NAS cracks $1 billion.

Telstra has reported a net profit of $2.1 billion for the first half of the financial year, buoyed by surges in its retail and enterprise business units and higher customer numbers.

The telco said in financial filings that its net profit after tax was up 21.7 percent ($378 million). Earnings per share were up by a similar margin, and Telstra announced an interim dividend of 15 cents, "returning $1.8 billion to shareholders".

During the half, Telstra added 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 reported.

It also said revenue from its Network Applications and Services (NAS) product line - its cloud compute operations - increased 18.1 per cent to $1 billion.

Revenue in Telstra's industry solutions unit also grew by 47 percent to $251 million thanks to wireless network deployments and the telco's acquisition of SNP Monitoring.

CEO David Thodey talked up Telstra's recent acquisition of Pacnet and the finalisation of revised agreements with NBN Co.

Total NBN income for the first half of 2015 came in at $385 million compared to $294 million in the previous six months. Most of the income increase came from infrastructure access and per-subscriber disconnection receipts, thanks to the increased pace of the NBN rollout.

Results for Telstra's fixed-line voice business were less rosy - the division continued to decline.

But Thodey and chief financial officer Andrew Penn credited 127,000 new Foxtel bundling deals with slowing down the decline to 7 percent for the first half of 2015 fiscal year.

While Thodey said the half-year results were some of the best he’d seen for Telstra, the telco is projecting flat growth for the coming six months - in part because it will no longer receive revenue from Hong Kong mobile telco CSL after selling it off last year.

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