Singapore’s second largest telecoms operator by subscribers, StarHub, has reported a 3% year-on-year rise in net income for the three months to 31 March 2009 to SGD82.5 million (USD56.1 million), despite a modest fall in mobile and broadband usage. The operator said quarterly revenues reached SGD530.6 million in the period under review, down 0.8% on the corresponding year ago period, largely the result of ‘lower levels of usage in a few services, as some customers cut back’, said CEO Terry Clontz. The group’s EBITDA was SGD168 million in 1Q09, while pre-tax profit climbed 1% y-o-y to SGD101 million. Free cash flow stood at SGD$115 million, up 277% higher than the SGD31 million booked in the year-earlier quarter. CAPEX was 14% lower at SGD51million it said.
StarHub said mobile revenue decreased 3% to SGD265 million on the back of lower voice usage, and reduced IDD and outbound roaming services, although more positively, the customer base grew 1% to 1.82 million at the end of March. Post-paid mobile services revenue fell 5% y-o-y to SGD200 million it said, accounting for 76% of the mobile revenue mix. However, post-paid ARPU contracted SGD9 to SGD67, partly attributed to a higher mix of customers on the discounted MaxMobile Data plans, while pre-paid ARPU grew SGD2 to SGD24 – driven by higher voice and data usages. Broadband revenue slipped 3% to SGD62 million compared to a year ago. The operator said its MaxOnline broadband internet base grew 9% in the year to close out March with 383,000 users. However, with more customers opting for StarHub’s subscription discounts and signing up for lower-end price plans, ARPU contracted SGD4 to SGD55. Fixed Network revenues recorded the highest growth amongst the group’s four lines of business, rising 9% y-o-y to SGD79 million. Data & Internet services revenue, which now contributes 85% to the Fixed Network revenue mix, increased 13% to SGD68 million. Meanwhile, Pay TV revenue expanded 5% to SGD102 million, in part due to a 2% growth in ARPU to SGD58. The basic pay-TV customer base increased 4% to 527,000, of which 98% are digital customers.