SYDNEY, AAP – Telstra has reported a drop in operating earnings that it attributed to various one-off costs, but recorded strong growth for its mobile network.

The telco, regarded by analysts as a high-yielding and low volatile stock, said it would pay an 8 cents per share interim dividend, in line with expectations.

Telstra reported earnings of $3.5 billion, representing a near 15 per cent fall from one year earlier. Net profit slid by around one-third to $700 million.

Chief executive Andrew Penn said the company was enjoying “positive momentum” after delivering consecutive half-year periods of underlying growth.

“The results show we have stayed disciplined and focused on delivering what we said we would,” Mr Penn said in a statement.

That was largely attributed to Telstra’s growth in its core mobile markets business.

Underlying earnings, which strip out the one-off costs, increased more than 5 per cent to $3.5 billion.

Like many former government-owned telcos around the world, Telstra has faced long-term structural headwinds after customers started shunning fixed-line phone services. Telstra’s business has also been greatly disrupted by the construction of the NBN.