11 Nov 2009
Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms group by subscribers and revenues Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), today posted net profits of SGD956 million (USD689 million) for the three months ended 30 September 2009, up 10% year-on-year and the highest profit recorded in six quarters. In a statement the group said its financial performance was bolstered by strong demand for mobile services in its home market and in Australia, with products such as the Apple iPhone and other multimedia and pay-TV service proving very popular. It went on to say that it expects full-year Australian and Singapore revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to grow at a ‘single digit level’. In its domestic market, SingTel posted second-quarter EBITDA of SGD556 million, up 11% y-o-y on sales of SGD1.4 billion (+8%); the operator’s overall share of the Singapore market rose to 46.2% at the end of September from 45.9% in June. Meanwhile, EBITDA at SingTel Optus in Australia climbed 6% to AUD509 million (USD473 million), underpinned by increased sales of the iPhone. Elsewhere, pre-tax earnings from Bharti Airtel in India, in which SingTel holds almost a one-third stake, climbed 26% y-o-y to SGD236 million and the Singapore firm’s share of pre-tax earnings from PT Telekomunikasi Selular in Indonesia climbed 46% to SGD252 million on the back of strong subscriber growth.