Telstra's growth is being turbocharged by prepaid mobile and the cloud

A fan takes a photo at Rod Laver Arena during the 2015 Australian Open. Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Telstra has just beaten expectations to post a $2.1 billion net profit, a rise of 21.7%, for the first half of the financial year.

A key part of that success was growth in the mobile business and in cloud services.

Revenue from mobile business was twice as much as what analysts forecast, rising 9.6% to $5.3 billion. Domestic mobile customers jumped by 366,000 to 16.4 million.

Telstra’s 4G coverage is now at 90% of the Australian population and it aims to have 94% covered by the middle of the year.

A key component to growth in mobile is prepaid, which grew almost 19% to $498 million in the six months to December.

And that prepaid handheld revenue growth was driven by increased data usage and growth in unique users, up 6.1%.

The actual revenue is still nowhere near straight contracts for handsets, which grew at only 8% to bring in $2.701 billion in revenue, but the growth is strong.

And Telstra’s cloud services grew by an amazing 31.9% to $120 million. This was driven by new offerings introduced through partnerships with global cloud vendors.

A lot of the new business is in health services. Telstra Health was launched in October. The telco’s total investment in Health now stands at more than $100 million, including acquisitions and joint ventures to provide technology solutions in telemedicine, aged and residential care, hospital, radiology and pathology.

In July last year Telstra bought Medinexus, a provider of cloud-based solutions to diagnostic imaging, for $4 million.

It also has CloudMed which provides eHealth cloud software solutions to doctors in Australia and hospitals in Asia.

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