StarHub swings into profit in 4Q, but warns of slowing growth in 2006

24 Feb 2006

Singaporean telecoms and cable company StarHub posted net profits of SGD73.3 million (USD45 million) for the three months to 31 December 2005, compared to a SGD6.7 million loss in the corresponding year-ago period, thanks to improved margins and subscriber gains. Full year profits reached SGD221.4 million, as against a loss of SGD54.7 million a year earlier. However, the company warned that it expects growth to slow in 2006 due to increased competition in its domestic market. Operating revenues for the period under review reached SGD415.1 million, a 14.9% rise year-on-year on the restated figure of SGD361.1 million in 2004, but StarHub said growth in operating revenue will slip into single-digits in 2006 due to the compound effects of an intensely saturated mobile market and competition for its cable business from internet TV providers.

On a more positive note, StarHub reported double-digit growth in all areas of its business except fixed line services for both the fourth quarter and the full year. More customers signed up to its bundled services, with an 11% increase in households taking two services and a 38% rise in subscribers taking triple-play. StarHub’s mobile arm contributed 51.1% of total group profits, down from 53.2% previously, reflecting the increased contribution of its cable and broadband operations. The wireless division ended the year with 1.392 million mobile customers, a gain of 64,000 in the quarter.

Singapore, StarHub