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Australian operator Telstra announced that its total income for the half-year ended 31 December 2017 was up 5.9 percent to AUD 14.5 billion, helped by growth in the mobile and cloud services segments, while EBITDA was down 2.5 percent to AUD 5.1 billion. Net profit declined 5.8 percent to AUD 1.7 billion, hurt by the earlier announced impairment charge of AUD 273 million to write off the remaining carrying value of Ooyala, according Telecompaper. Excluding the impairment charge, net profit after tax was up 9.5 percent and basic EPS was up 12.2 percent. On a guidance basis, excluding M&A and one-off items, total income was up 5.4 percent and EBITDA rose 2.4 percent. Telstra reconfirmed its full-year guidance for largely stable income of AUD 27.6-29.5 billion and lower EBITDA of AUD 10.1-10.6 billion. 
 
Capital expenditure is expected at AUD 4.4-4.8 billion in the full year or 18 percent of sales, after spending AUD 2.3 billion in the first half. Annual free cashflow is targeted at AUD 4.2–4.7 billion, after AUD 1.8 billion in H1.
 
Telstra declared an interim dividend of 11 cents per share, comprising an ordinary dividend of 7.5 cents and a special dividend. The interim dividend, to be paid on 29 March, will distribute AUD 1.3 billion to shareholders, Telstra said. The operator maintained its plan to pay out 22 cents per share over the full year.
 
As of the end of 2017, Telstra reports it invested around AUD 1.4 billion of additional capex, or half of the up to AUD 3 billion in its strategic investment program. This included AUD 1.3 billion on networks and AUD 100 million on digitisation. 
 
During the half-year ended 31 December 2017, Telstra added 235,000 retail mobile services, including 130,000 postpaid handheld services of which 21,000 were Belong mobile. In addition, 118,000 wholesale mobile services were added in the half-year period. 
 
Mobile revenue was up 0.8 percent on the prior corresponding period. Mobile EBITDA margin declined by one percentage point to 40 percent due to postpaid handheld ARPU reduction and some one-offs. 
 
Telstra said it added 454,000 NBN connections, maintaining a 51 percent market share, excluding satellite. About 57,000 retail bundled customers were added during the half, with one third of these bundles including an entertainment component. 
 
Fixed voice and fixed data EBITDA margins declined to 38 and 17 percent, respectively, negatively affected by upfront costs of connecting customers to the NBN network, and rising network payments to NBN Co.