Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) says that net income for the group’s fiscal second quarter ending 30 September 2016 declined 5.6% year-on-year to SGD972 million (USD702 million) from SGD1.03 billion, attributed to exceptional gains recorded by Airtel in the comparative year-ago quarter. Singtel stated bullishly that its second-quarter results remained strong thanks to growth from its regional mobile associates which continue to see solid subscriber gains and increased data services usage. The Southeast Asian operator said that its core business saw rises in both mobile data and cyber security services, which was in part offset by declines in traditional voice call services and intense pressure for Australian venture Singtel Optus. Operating revenue fell by 2.3% to SGD4.086 billion, impacted by the impact of mandated cuts to mobile termination rates in Australia. EBITDA declined 4.4% to SGD1.970 billion due to investments in content and heightened competition in Australia, and underlying net profit was stable for the quarter at SGD978 million.
Singtel Group closed out 30 September 2016 with an aggregated total of 629.356 million mobile subscribers, compared to 579.919 million a year earlier, while on a proportionate basis, the Singapore-based company had 225.792 million users, up from 205.506 million. Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong said its overseas associates Airtel and Telkomsel performed strongly. ‘Strategic investments in networks and spectrum are paying off as they capture new growth in customers and data usage. The Group’s customer base increased by 3% to 629 million subscribers, further strengthening our position as Southeast Asia’s largest communications company,’ she said.