February 14, 2007 / 10:02 PM / 12 years ago

Australia's Telstra H1 profit down 20 pct

MELBOURNE, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Telstra Corp. Ltd. (TLS.AX), Australia’s largest telecoms firm, reported a 20 percent decline in first-half net profit on Thursday, weighed down by restructuring costs and increased spending on marketing.

Telstra said net profit fell to A$1.7 billion ($1.34) in the six months to December from A$2.14 billion.

This was higher than the consensus forecast of A$1.622 billion, according to the average of nine surveyed by Reuters.

The firm has previously said the first half would see the largest cost impact of its five-year transformation plan. But it has benefited from a slowdown in the rate of decline on high-margin fixed-line revenues, helped by bundling broadband services.

Telstra shares have risen 5.8 percent this year after some analysts upgraded the stock, while the broad market has added 5.2 percent.


((Reporting by Victoria Thieberger, editing by Jean Yoon; victoria.thieberger@reuters.com; Reuters Messaging: victoria.thieberger.reuters.com@reuters.net; +61 3 9286 1421)) Keywords: TELSTRA RESULTS/

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