SingTel posts mixed first-quarter results

11 Aug 2011

Singapore Telecom (SingTel) has posted net income of SGD916 million (USD755 million) for the three months ended June, down 2.9% year-on-year. The unexpected drop came on the back of lower earnings at Bharti Airtel, as well as the Singapore dollar’s appreciation against the currencies of many of the Asian markets in which SingTel operates. International associates such as Bharti in India and Africa, Telkomsel in Indonesia, AIS in Thailand and Globe in the Philippines, contributed SGD472 million to pre-tax profit, down 10% from a year earlier. Revenue for the group, however, rose 7.4% to SGD4.6 billion, thanks partly to a 10.1% (after converting to SGP) hike in sales from SingTel Optus, the company’s Australian subsidiary. SingTel finished June with 141.4 million proportionate subscribers, up from 123.4 million twelve months ago. For the full year ending March 2012, SingTel confirmed its guidance and maintained its projection for single-digit percentage growth in revenue.

SingTel Group and its regional mobile associates ended 1Q11 with a total of 416 million subscribers, a 19% rise from the same date a year previously. Telkomsel saw a 5% growth in revenue on strong data growth, although the Indonesian operator’s share of pre-tax profit fell 5% to SGD210 million because of depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah against the Singapore dollar. Bharti’s operations in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka reported revenue growth, but losses from Bharti Africa, and the weaker Indian rupee meant Bharti’s ordinary pre-tax contribution to the group dropped 27% to SGD154 million. Meanwhile, in the Philippines Globe’s pre-tax contribution to the group increased by 10% to SGD49 million.

Revenue from SingTel Singapore rose 2% to SGD1.56 billion (USD1.29 billion) in the quarter while EBITDA fell 4% to SGD567 million. Operating expenses rose 7% to SGD1 billion. The domestic company continued to see growth in the wireless sector, where revenue increased 9% year-on-year to SGD472 million. Although post-paid average revenue per user (ARPU) declined by 2% to SGD87, the number of subscribers overall increased by a record 57,000 in the quarter with a higher take-up for smartphones and strong demand for data-only SIMs for mobile broadband bundles; if data-only SIMs are excluded, post-paid ARPU was up 2%. With pre-paid customer numbers also growing, overall SingTel’s mobile market share rose 0.9 percentage points y-o-y to 45.3%. Data and internet revenue remained stable at SGD398 as growth in managed services was partially offset by lower revenue in international and local leased circuits markets. Internet related revenue rose 2%. Meanwhile, fibre rollout revenue was down on the previous year as OpenNet passed its peak rollout phase with over 70% of the island already covered. At end of June 2011 the operator had 22,000 fibre broadband customers. SingTel’s pay-TV service, mio TV, gained 21,000 additional customers in the three months April-June to end the quarter with a total of 313,000 subscribers, 255,000 of which were taking bundled services; revenue for the sector was SGD23 million, an increase of 73%.

Singapore, Singtel Group, Telkomsel (Telekomunikasi Selular)