In announcing Telstra s Full Year Results today, Chief Executive Officer David Thodey said Telstra continued to perform strongly, with growth in total income, earnings per share, EBITDA and customer numbers.
We have a clear strategy that we are focussed on implementing we have delivered strong financial performance, we continue to take a disciplined approach to portfolio and capital management and we are carefully investing to provide sustainable long term growth, Mr Thodey said.
Telstra also announced an increased final dividend of 15 cents fully franked and an off-market share buy-back of up to approximately $1 billion of Telstra shares.
Mr Thodey said the increase in shareholder returns, through two FY14 dividend increases and the share buy-back, was made possible by ongoing strong operating performance, three consecutive years of earnings growth and increased cash flows from recent divestments.
During the year Telstra s disciplined portfolio management included the completion of the sale of its stake in the Hong Kong mobile business CSL and its sale of 70 per cent of directories business, Sensis. Autohome Inc was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with Telstra s resultant 63.2% share valued at $2.9 billion at 13 August. Telstra also further strengthened its balance sheet by diversifying funding and reducing interest costs.
Mr Thodey said investing in new businesses and growing in new geographic markets was essential for Telstra s growth ambitions, and good progress had been made through investments in the areas of eHealth, Global Enterprise and Services (GES) and Global Applications and Platforms (GAP).
We continued to grow our capabilities in eHealth, acquiring DCA eHealth Solutions and 50 per cent of Fred IT. We also signed licensing agreements with Dr Foster, iScheduler and InstantPHR, building on our objective to deliver eHealth solutions via connectivity of health services, electronic health records and electronic prescriptions.
In GES, our proposed joint venture with Telkom Indonesia aims to open opportunities in Indonesia and the Asian Network Applications and Services (NAS) market, and we acquired NSC Group and 02 Networks to further boost our NAS capabilities. We launched our start up incubator muru-DŽ to foster local technology innovation and in GAP this week announced the purchase of leading global video streaming company, Ooyala.
Mr Thodey said over the year Telstra had again stepped up its efforts to improve customer service. Building customer advocacy, as measured by NPS, continues to be Telstra s number one priority.
Our NPS score improved across all customer segments with an aggregate improvement of three points over the 2014 financial year building on the improvements we saw last year but we still have a lot of work to do to consistently deliver our customers a great service experience, he said.