Singaporean fixed and mobile operator M1 Limited (M1) has reported a 10.7% year-on-year fall in net profit for full-year 2012, as higher handset subsidies and costs related to the deployment of base stations ate into its bottom line. The carrier booked net income of SGD146.5 million (USD119.3 million) for the year to 31 December 2012, compared to profit of SGD164.1 million in FY11, on service revenue of SGD771.6 million, which was up 2.8% on an annualised basis. The cellco said that its financial performance last year was aided by growth in its mobile subscriber base and a higher contribution from its fixed services unit. Indeed, profit after taxes for the final trimester of 2012 increased by 14.4% y-o-y to SGD37.9 million – reversing the declining trend seen in previous quarters. Free cash flow for FY2012 remained healthy at SGD152.3 million, while CAPEX was SGD123 million, it added.
M1 said it added 50,000 net new post-paid and pre-paid customers in Q4 2012, bringing the total mobile customer base to 2.109 million as at 31 December 2012. Monthly post-paid churn for the year remained stable at 1.3%. Further, the carrier noted continued strong growth in smartphone and mobile broadband subscriptions in the fourth quarter – smartphone users now account for 75% of its total post-paid customer base – helping to drive revenue from non-voice services up two percentage points to 37.6% of service revenue in FY12. The final three months of the year also saw strong take-up of smartphone plans with tiered data bundles, a trend that M1 says is expected to continue in 2013.
The company also said that with nationwide coverage of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) – M1 reported a total of 52,000 fibre users at 31 December 2012 – the adoption of fibre-optic services is likely to accelerate in 2013.