Telkom surprised the market with a maiden interim dividend, which sent the share price up 5.33%. The group also revised its dividend policy that will now see it pay 60% of headline earnings as annual dividends following a strong performance. The 40% state-owned telecommunications operator’s share price closed at R62.89. Management has spent the past three years realigning the business by, among other things, cutting staff costs and investing heavily in fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure. Aslam Dalvi, associate portfolio manager at Kagiso Asset Management, said the higher dividend and new dividend policy was a positive surprise and a reflection of management’s "successful execution of its strategic goal of de-risking the business" and creating a more stable growth platform. Telkom’s headline earnings per share rose 20% to R3.36c. Operating revenue increased 20.6% to R20.2bn, lifted by the mobile business and the inclusion of Business Connexion. Telkom’s mobile network business...

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