Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) reported a 12.8% year-on-year increase in net profit to SGD941.6 million (USD669.7 million) for the three months ended 30 June 2015, as the group’s aggregate mobile customer base rose 8% to 565 million, when compared to a year ago; excluding exceptional items, underlying net income rose 1.6% to SGD895 million, it said. Singtel booked a one-time net gain of SGD47 million thanks to divestment gains from venture investments and Airtel Africa tower assets. The operator noted too that the strong performance in its fiscal first quarter was buoyed by improved results for Australian subsidiary Optus and positive contributions from its regional mobile associates. In its press release, Singtel said that regional associates AIS (Thailand), Globe (Philippines), Telkomsel (Indonesia) and Airtel (India, Africa and Middle East) delivered strong earnings ‘as network investments continue to accelerate data adoption, and 3G handset and smartphone penetration increased’. Group operating revenue climbed 1.5% y-o-y to SGD4.21 billion in the fiscal first quarter, although earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slipped 1.0% to SGD1.24 billion from SGD1.25 billion in Q1 of FY2014/15.
Commenting on the results, Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong said: ‘This quarter’s results reflect the strong execution in our business. Across our different markets, we are taking bold strategic measures to shape our business and the market. We are accelerating investments in spectrum, networks and systems, and transforming our cost structure. We strive to deliver a great customer experience with innovative products and plans.’