Singtel Group posted consolidated net profit of SGD944 million (USD704.1 million) for the quarter ended 30 June 2016, up only 0.3% from SGD942 million in the corresponding period of 2015, as group revenue slipped 7.1% year-on-year to SGD3.908 billion and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) fell marginally, 0.4%, to SGD1.236 billion. ‘Underlying net profit’, however, was up 6.6% at SGD954 million and pre-tax earnings from Singtel’s ‘Regional Mobile Associates’ (including Telkomsel in Indonesia and Airtel in India) improved by 14.3% to SGD714 million, it said. In its press release, Singtel Group claimed to have had a ‘strong Q1’ with ‘solid contributions from associates and resilient core business’. Mobile data services remained a key growth driver across the group’s operations, while cyber security was ‘another bright spot’, with turnover here up to SGD109 million in the wake of last September’s acquisition of information security firm Trustwave Holdings.
Among its Regional Mobile Associates, Singtel highlighted that Telkomsel recorded strong growth across its voice, data and digital businesses, with data customers now constituting almost half of the Indonesian mobile customer base. In India, Airtel continued to strengthen its market leadership and accelerate its 4G network rollout – also delivering growth in data and voice services. In Thailand, AIS successfully acquired technology-neutral 900MHz spectrum, securing continuity of its market leadership, while Globe in the Philippines has entered into an agreement to acquire 50% of the telecom assets of San Miguel, including its 700MHz spectrum.
The group’s combined mobile customer base was 613.457 million as at 30 June 2016, up 8.2 million or 1.4% from a quarter ago, and 46 million or 8.0% from a year ago. Singtel reported 4.103 million users in its home market, up a net 2,000 on the prior quarter, while Australian unit Optus shed a net 1,000 connections to 9.336 million. Associates Airtel, Telkomsel, AIS and Globe accounted for a combined 600.018 mobile users at 30 June 2016, up from 554.316 million twelve months before. On a proportionate basis, Singtel’s share was 219.278 million users at the same date, compared to 200.955 million at end-June 2015.