14 Aug 2009

Broadband demand underpins TelstraClear earnings

7:45 am on 14 August 2009

TelstraClear has reported a solid underlying performance as households demanded broadband, offsetting a loss of business from small companies which have shut down in the recession.

The Australian-owned telecommunications company's pre-tax earnings more than doubled from $7.5 million to $18 million in the year to June compared to the previous year.

Revenue rose slightly to $703 million as growth in consumer sales on its own network in Wellington and Christchurch as well as reselling broadband compensated for sluggish business markets.

Operating earnings rise to $132 million. Capital spend fell by 15% as the company restricted efforts to improving its billing system.

TelstraClear is not giving any earnings forecast for this financial year. Chief executive Allan Freeth says there's still some uncertainty due to the recession's affect on its customers.

Parent company Telstra, Australia's biggest phone business, saw its annual profit rise 10% to $A4.1 billion due to stronger broadband and mobile sales.

TelstraClear has seen its operating earnings rise to $132 million.