Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms group by subscribers and revenue, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel), said net profit for its fiscal third quarter ended 31 December 2016 increased by 2% year-on-year to SGD973 million (USD686.6 million), although revenues declined by a similar percentage over the same period to SGD4.41 billion – a fact it attributed to a regulator-mandated reduction in mobile termination rates (MTRs) in Australia, the home market of Singtel’s wholly owned subsidiary Optus. The MTR cuts resulted in a 10% fall in (consumer) revenue in Australia to AUD1.81 billion (USD1.38 billion), although this was in part offset by growth in its home market, as domestic services revenue increased by 7%. Meanwhile, consolidated sales derived from enterprise businesses flat-lined at SGD1.65 billion, while turnover from cybersecurity spiked 10% to SGD113 million, and group digital life revenue soared 22% to SGD167 million. EBITDA were stable, at SGD1.22 billion, although in constant currency terms, this was down by 2%, it said. The Singtel group’s total mobile customer base across its operations and those of its affiliates across Asia grew another 2% during the quarter to approximately 640 million.
Singtel group CEO Chua Sock Koong commented: ‘This is a resilient set of results. We have managed to hold good ground against the backdrop of a slowing Singapore economy and more challenging business environment all around … While there are concerns of a global economic slowdown, the growth story in the developing markets where we are invested remains compelling as mobile data usage continued to grow across all our mobile associates.’