Southeast Asia’s leading carrier by subscribers and revenues, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), today reported a 30% year-on-year rise in net profit for its fourth quarter ended 31 March 2012, fuelled by increased contributions from some of its overseas affiliates and a stronger Australian dollar. The group booked net income of SGD1.29 billion (USD1.03 billion) for the three-month period under review, on revenues of SGD4.78 billion. Net profit for the full year amounted to SGD3.99 billion it said, up 4.3% y-o-y, driven by strong contributions from Advanced Info Service (AIS) in Thailand and Indonesian mobile operator Telkomsel. SingTel said that the Thai cellco’s share of pre-tax ordinary profits in its fiscal fourth-quarter grew 52.2% y-o-y to SGD111 million, thanks to ‘strong demand for its mobile internet services’, while Telkomsel’s contribution rose 20.4% thanks to ‘stable domestic market conditions’. The gains in these two countries helped to counteract declines in SingTel affiliates in India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it added. India’s Bharti Airtel, for example, generated a pre-tax contribution of SGD139 million, down 20% year-on-year, due to the weakness of the Indian rupee, which fell 12% against the Singapore dollar.
In its home market, SingTel booked net income of SGD587 million it its fourth quarter, up a massive 93.6% on an annualised basis thanks to an increase in value of assets transferred to an associate, it said. Q4 turnover from its Singapore business grew 3% y-o-y to SGD1.72 billion. Meanwhile, in Australia, quarterly operating revenue for its 100% owned SingTel Optus subsidiary dipped 1.1% to AUD2.3 billion (USD2.3 billion), although underlying net profit rallied 2.1% to AUD267 million. SingTel noted that a stronger Australian dollar, which artificially boosts the value of its operations in the country, also contributed to the group’s earnings.
As reported in yesterday’s CommsUpdate, SingTel reported another quarter of strong growth in customer acquisitions, closing out 31 March 2012 with a group total of 445 million mobile subscribers, up 11% (or 42.9 million) on the corresponding period in 2011.