Telstra lifts H1 profit to $1.6b

Telstra is on track to meet its full-year earnings targets after lifting first-half profit by nearly nine per cent.

The telco giant on Thursday said its net profit rose to $1.597 billion in the six months to December 31, from $1.468 billion in the previous corresponding period.

The profit rise came on the back of strong growth in customer numbers which helped push revenue up 1.5 per cent to $12.6 billion.

Telstra added 607,000 new domestic customers and 321,000 international mobile customers during the first half.

Chief executive David Thodey confirmed the telco was on track to meet its full-year earnings targets of low single digit total income and earnings growth.

"We will continue to focus on improving customer satisfaction, growing customer numbers, simplifying the business and taking advantage of new growth opportunities," he said in a statement.

"We are making good progress but there is more to do."

Mr Thodey said Telstra had enjoyed customer growth in key products and services, including its mobile business.

Mobile revenue grew by 4.6 per cent to $4.56 million, with Telstra adding 607,000 Australian customers to its network.

The number of Telstra's total mobile customers had risen to 14.4 million, with 6.9 million postpaid subscribers and 3.3 million mobile broadband users.

However, total revenues from Telstra's fixed line business continued to fall, dropping four per cent in the first half to $3.7 billion despite a rise in broadband internet customers.

And Telstra's digital media revenues fell seven per cent, with the division's directory business Sensis suffering a 12.5 per cent slide.

Telstra flagged that it expects to incur significant costs this financial year for the renewal of existing spectrum licences.

New licences will also come up for auction later in the year.

Telstra maintained its fully-franked interim dividend at 14 cents a share.

It still intends to maintain a 28 cent fully-franked dividend for the full year.

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