Australian fixed line incumbent Telstra had released its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2017, with the company reporting a 4.3% year-on-year increase in total turnover to AUD28.2 billion (USD22.2 billion). EBITDA meanwhile increased by 2.0% to AUD10.7 billion in the twelve-month period, with net profit after tax from continuing operations up by 1.1% at AUD3.9 billion. Capital expenditures during the year under review totalled AUD4.6 billion, meanwhile, up from AUD4.0 billion in FY 2016. Looking to the year financial ahead, Telstra has said it expects revenues of between AUD28.3 billion and AUD30.2 billion in FY 2018, with EBITDA forecast at between AUD10.7 billion and AUD11.2 billion. CAPEX is expected to be between AUD4.4 billion and AUD4.8 billion.
In operational terms, Telstra said it had recorded ‘continued growth across key segments’ in FY 2017, with retail mobile net adds of 218,000 bringing its total to 17.5 million, of which 7.6 million were post-paid. In the fixed broadband arena, the telco attracted 132,000 new domestic retail customers, bringing the number on its books to around 3.5 million. Connections now being served over the National Broadband Network (NBN), it noted, stood at 1.2 million. Domestic retail fixed voice accesses continued to decline, however, falling to 5.4 million at end-June 2017, down from 5.7 million a year earlier.
With Telstra last year having outlined plans to invest up to AUD3 billion over a three year period in addition to its usual capital spend, the company revealed it had spent some AUD750 million since November 2016, with work having been ‘predominantly’ focused on its networks. In terms of the key highlights of its investment to date, Telstra said these included: doubling the download speed capability of standard 4G for 89% of the population; preparing for 5G trials in early 2018; closing down its 2G infrastructure and re-farming the spectrum; rolling out Cat M1 capability across its 4G coverage footprint; and beginning the rollout of a ‘next generation optical fibre transmission network’.