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StarHub: higher costs drive down 1Q10 profits

7 May 2010

Singapore’s second largest telecoms operator by subscribers and revenues, StarHub, has posted a 48.3% year-on-year drop in net profits for the three months ended 31 March 2010, to SGD42.7 million (USD30.6 million), with higher operating costs blamed for the fall. On the positive side, the telco said revenue increased 5% year-on-year to SGD557.2 million from SGD531.0 million previously. Costs related to sales activities climbed a sizeable 26% to SGD249.2 million as StarHub, like its rivals, increased marketing efforts on sales of smartphones and devices like the iPhone. Capital expenditure was 4% lower at SGD49 million compared to the same period of 2009, it said.

StarHub said mobile revenue increased 8% y-o-y to SGD286 million, aided by a small boost in its customer base to 1.97 million. Turnover from post-paid mobile user grew 10% over twelve months to SGD220 million, accounting for 77% of the mobile revenue mix; contract ARPU increased SGD2 to SGD69 per month. Revenue from pay-as-you-go users was up 3% y-o-y at SGD66 million; pre-paid ARPU decreased SGD1 to SGD23. The group’s pay-TV unit reported stable sales at SGD102 million as its customer base climbed 3% year-on-year to 541,000. Pay-TV ARPU of SGD55 per month was SGD3 lower year-on-year, which the operator said was due to more discount offers as it looked to drive take up of new programme bundles. Broadband revenue slipped 5% y-o-y to SGD60 million, resulting in the lower monthly ARPU of SGD48. On the plus side, StarHub said its broadband ‘MaxOnline’ customer base increased 7% y-o-y to 408,000. Meanwhile the telco’s fixed network revenue increased 1% y-o-y to SGD80 million, within which, Data & Internet services revenue (which contributes 85% to the fixed network revenue mix) grew 1% to SGD68 million.

Singapore, StarHub

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