Singaporean wireless operator MobileOne Asia (M1) today reported a 10% rise in net profits in the three months to 30 June, to SGD40.6 million (USD26.9 million), compared with SGD36.9 million in the same period of 2006, driven by rising subscriber numbers, increased revenues from data services and lower taxes. Sales in the period reached SGD199.8 million, up 4% from SGD192.1 million a year ago. The cellco’s figures were broadly in line with a Dow Jones Newswires poll which forecast net profit at SGD38.7 million from revenue of SGD197.2 million. In a press briefing, the company’s CEO Neil Montefiore said he expects profit for the year to show ‘single-digit growth’ from last year’s figure of SGD164.6 million.
M1, the city-state’s smallest operator by subscribers, added 31,000 net new users during the second quarter, raising its total customer base to 1.4 million, despite a fall in its market share. The cellco reported that its share had dipped from 29.3% to 28.4% in the year to 30 June 2007, despite the fact that mobile penetration climbed from 99.3% to 109.5% in the same period. M1’s relative failure has been attributed to its lack of value added services in comparison to bigger rivals SingTel Mobile and StarHub, which gives it fewer growth drivers in a saturated market. On the plus side, M1 said ARPU for post-pay users rose from SGD60.40 to SGD62.20 year-on-year, as customers used more data services and downloaded mobile videos. Montefiore says his company is currently exploring new growth areas, such as taking part in a bid for Singapore’s government-funded national broadband network.