Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms group, posted a net profit of SGD840 million (USD535 million) in the three months to 30 June 2006, at the top end of market forecasts, on the back of strong gains from its regional associates. Analysts had forecast 1Q net profits of between SGD770 million and SGD839 million for the company. Group operating profit in the quarter stood at SGD3.17 billion, down 1.4% year-on-year.
SingTel attributed the rise in profits to the strong performance of its regional mobile associates, particularly in Indonesia, India and Australia, which helped offset stagnating growth in its saturated domestic market. The group’s Australian business Optus posted a 5.3% rise in revenues to AUD1.83 billion (USD1.4 billion) and doubled its net income to AUD385 million. In India, SingTel affiliate Bharti Telecom reported a 64% rise in pre-tax profits to SGD101 million, while Telkomsel Indonesia posted a 30% rise to SGD225 million. Filipino operator Globe Telecom contributed pre-tax profits of SGD110 million, up from SGD61 million a year ago. Pre-tax profits for all the group’s regional mobile associates rose by 29% to SGD495 million. By contrast, operating revenues from SingTel’s domestic operations flat-lined at SGD995 million.