Australian incumbent Telstra has announced that its CEO, Sol Trujillo, will leave the company a year early in June this year, as it reported a 1% drop in net profit to AUD1.9 billion (USD1.2 billion). Despite the decline in net profit the operator’s results for the first six months of its 2009 fiscal year were above expectation, attributed to higher mobile and broadband revenues offsetting declining fixed line income. Half-year revenues rose 2.7% year-on-year to AUD12.7 billion, while retail broadband revenue surged 31.3% year-on-year to AUD1.2 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 3.1% y-o-y at AUD5.3 billion. On the back of the results Telstra has revised its full year 2009 forecast, reducing its expected EBITDA growth to 5%-6% from 6%-7%; its revenue forecast for the year was kept at 3%-4%.
The impending departure of Mr Trujillo, who has had several clashes with the government over deregulation issues, has prompted some analysts to suggest that Telstra could yet find its way back into discussions with the state regarding the National Broadband Network (NBN). According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Telstra was excluded from the tender process for the NBN in November last year on a technicality.