Telstra profit up 10 percent to $4.06 billion

Telstra's annual profit rose 10.4 percent to $4.06 billion for the year ended on June 30, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Underlying sales revenue rose 3.2 percent to $18.9 billion, while the sale of some business units pushed total revenue to $23.09 billion, the company said.

Telstra Chief Executive Officer Ziggy Switkowski said in the statement that the results reflected a strong first-half performance followed by a flat second half as the industry slowed.

Data communication revenues grew 22 percent over the previous year, according to Switkowski. Especially strong were the carrier's Internet access business, with revenue up 50.3 percent and frame relay/ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) services where revenue grew 43.9 percent. Overall revenue growth was impacted by slowing growth in the mobile sector, market share losses in the fixed-line business and intense price-based competition in general, Switkowski said.

During the year, Telstra moved into the Asian market through three regional joint ventures formed with Hong Kong's Pacific Century Cyberworks Ltd. (PCCW) in the wireless, Internet backbone and data center businesses. Telstra recently wrote down the value of its investment in the wireless venture, Regional Wireless Co. (RWC), by A$1 billion, Switkowski said.

Telstra faces increased competition in its home market now that powerful regional carrier Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) has almost completed its takeover of Australia's second-largest carrier Cable & Wireless Optus Ltd. (CWO).

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