Telstra is cutting 2,800 staff by the end of the year to meet a new cost-cutting goal of $1.5 billion

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Telstra revealed in its annual results on Thursday that it cut staff numbers by 1,366 full-time equivalent positions for the 2017 financial year.

Late last year, the telco announced a $1 billion cost-cutting drive that resulted in staff cuts throughout this year. A further 1,400 staff cuts, as revealed in June, will join the 1,366 that have already exited.

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn said Thursday that the company had now accelerated its cost-cutting programme, so that the $1 billion target will now arrive in 2020 – a full year in advance of its original goal. The overall cost-cutting target has been upped to $1.5 billion, to be achieved by 2022.

The telco almost doubled its employee redundancy costs for the 2017 financial year, spending $313 million, compared to $166 million in the previous year.

Telstra also showed in its financial report that a war chest of $86 million has been raised for further redundancies.

Telstra posted a 32.7% dip in net profit to $3.89 billion, down from $5.78 billion in 2016. However, adjusting for the $1.8 billion sale of Autohome in 2016, net profit was up 1.1%.

In early trade, Telstra shares dropped more than 10% to $3.88.

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