Optus proves itself as Singtel’s cash cow

7 May 2004

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) reported a sixfold increase in net profit for the first quarter of 2004, due in no small part to the performance of its Australian mobile operator Optus. The cellco accounted for 68% of SingTel’s total sales in the three month period, which rose 16% to SGD3.16 billion; net profit reached SGD1.96 billion (USD1.16 billion). SingTel has also announced a SGD4.1 billion (USD2.4 billion) share buyback and a SGD3 billion dividend, part-funded by its exit from Belgian PTO Belgacom last month, which brought in a pre-tax gain of SGD1.6 billion.