Telstra profit falls 16.8% as David Jones sales sink in fourth quarter: Midday Roundup

Telecommunications giant Telstra recorded a 16.8% decline in profit for the 2011 financial year, but the result is better than expected and the company expects to return to better growth within the year ahead.

The company is undergoing several restructures and focusing more on mobiles, improving its customer service and combining departments in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Chief executive David Thodey announced this morning that total revenue was $25.09 billion, up 0.7% from last year.

This is the first results announcement since the $11 billion deal with the Federal Government over the National Broadband Network had been finalised. Thodey said that deal will deliver the company a good result, although there will be no impact this year.

“The big message is that we’ve exceeded guidance across all categories and the business has returned to growth,” Thodey told Reuters.

EBITDA fell by 6.4% this year, in line with expectations, with the company saying that the result comes after undergoing several restructuring costs. It also confirmed that customer numbers have increased.

Thodey also said the company may be looking for acquisitions.

“Where necessary we may build or latch on new capabilities that include acquisitions, but you wouldn’t put it as the number one, we’re going for growth,” Thodey said.

David Jones sales fall 10.3% in fourth quarter

Department store David Jones announced its sales fell by 10.3% in the fourth quarter to just $462.1 million, with chief executive Paul Zahra saying the company faces an “extremely difficult” environment over the next year.

The company also said its guidance for a 15-20% increase in net profit for the first half of 2012 assumes sales will increase after July.

“It was based on the assumption that there would be an improvement,” the company said in a statement. “It is still early days however, with the turmoil in the market place and the continuing decline in consumer confidence, to date first quarter 2012 has shown no improvement.”

David Jones is set to reveal its full-year results in September.

Optus profit falls 5% in fourth quarter

Telco giant Optus has recorded a 5% fall in quarterly profit, but the company has said it remains “resilient”.

The company said underlying profit was up 2.5% to $174 million excluding a charge for restricting its workforce.

“Against the backdrop of a highly competitive Australian telecommunications market with competitors discounting prices and sacrificing profits, Optus delivered resilient results,” chief executive Paul O’Sullivan said in a statement.

“We remain focused on delivering profitable growth in a rapidly changing market and driving differentiation through innovative digital services and products.”

Mobile revenue rose by 5% during the quarter.

Foxtel earnings rise by 15.5%

Foxtel has recorded a 15.5% rise in earnings on the back of a rise in new subscribers, the company has announced.

EBITDA rose to $551 million from $477 million, with subscribers also growing by 2.5% to 1.65 million. Revenue rose by nearly 6% to $2.14 billion.

“Merging the two companies will not have a negative impact on competition but will rather see Foxtel offering a range of consumer benefits,” the company said, in relation to the Austar deal.

“While our financial performance for the year was solid, subscriber growth remains testing as a result of the ongoing reluctance of consumers to commit to new discretionary spend,” chief executive Kim Williams said in a statement.

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