Shares in Telstra have slipped to their lowest level so far this year in the face of increasing competition in Australia’s fixed line market. The operator’s outgoing CEO Ziggy Switkowski said that its margins had been put under pressure in the quarter to the end of March 2005 – the telco’s fiscal Q3 – with an increasing number of customers swapping fixed lines for mobile phones. He went on, however, to say that Telstra is ‘holding its own’ in the corporate market which remains very price-competitive.
In the three months to the end of March, Telstra’s revenue from fixed line services fell by 4.8% to AUD1.87 billion, while mobile services revenue grew by 7.6% to AUD1 billion; total revenues were up 3.3% to AUD5.17 billion. Telstra’s mobile arm signed up 76,000 subscribers during the quarter, to take its total customer base to 8.1 million. The telco also added 246,000 retail and wholesale customers.