Telstra stepped out of the shadow of NBN: president

Telstra “is coming out of the shadow of the NBN,” Chairman John Mullen said, as the company reaffirmed a return to growth in 2021/22.

The phone company said it lost more than $ 6 billion in profits over the past decade due to the impact of the national broadband network and the loss of other sources of revenue.

But Mr Mullen told investors at the company’s annual general meeting, held via video link on Tuesday, that Telstra had reached a turning point.

“There is little precedent in Australian business for an impact or a challenge of this magnitude,” he said.

“With the NBN rollout now complete, you can finally see the company emerging from the shadow of the NBN.”

On Tuesday, the company also revealed that it will let its employees choose to work from home on an ongoing basis.

Its 25,000 workers were among the first to switch to working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Telstra cut costs by $ 2.3 billion and chief executive Andy Penn said the company is on track to meet its goal of $ 2.7 billion.

In September, Mr Penn promised earnings per share will peak between 2021 and 2025 under a new strategy called T25.

He said the company had reduced its number of employees by a third, but that further job cuts were not being considered, and more savings could come from reduced IT spending.

At Tuesday’s meeting, more than 97% of shareholders voted in favor of Mr Penn’s compensation worth around $ 5 million, but Chairman John Mullen was faced with a series of questions from ‘investors on executive compensation.

He defended the CEO’s salary, saying the roughly $ 3 share price under Andy Penn’s leadership reflected far more than his performance.

“I can assure you that if Andy hadn’t done a remarkable job the share price would be much worse than it is today,” Mullen said.

Telstra acknowledged that there was still work to be done to improve the coverage of its network.

“We recognize and absolutely accept that there are still too many failures,” Mullen said.

The number of customers calling Telstra’s call centers has fallen by more than two-thirds, and Mr Penn said he expects all of these to be answered in Australia, rather than at the centers. offshore calls, by June of next year.

The company’s total income fell 11.6% to just over $ 23 billion in 2020/21, while reported profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell 14.2% to 7.6 billions of dollars.

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