StarHub third-quarter profit fails to shine

3 Nov 2017

Singapore’s second largest telco by subscribers and revenues, StarHub, saw net profit slump 11.6% to SGD77 million (USD56.6 million) for the three months ending 30 September 2017, compared to SGD86 million in the corresponding year-ago period, which it blamed in part on ‘lower core service revenue’. Total revenue dipped 0.8% year-on-year to SGD580 million, within which service revenue was down 0.7% to SGD545 million. Mobile service, broadband and pay-TV revenues declined 0.8%, 1.8% and 7.7% respectively but enterprise fixed service revenue grew 5.0%. EBITDA also declined in 3Q17, falling by 1.7% to SGD176 million; EBITDA margin was 32.3%, down 0.5 of a percentage point y-o-y. Capital expenditure, meanwhile, stood at SGD52 million, down from SGD150 million previously.

Commenting on the operator’s performance, StarHub CEO Tan Tong Hai said: ‘This quarter, we are further seeing the fruits of our growth strategy as shown by the encouraging double-digit increase in our enterprise fixed revenue. We will continue investing in the enterprise space to drive our future growth … We have recently struck Singapore’s first bank-telco strategic partnership with OCBC Bank. By harnessing our collective data insights, we can better understand customers’ needs and deliver even more relevant services to enhance their connected lifestyles.’

StarHub also reported that its post-paid mobile customer base decreased by 11,000 y-o-y, to 1.362 million at 30 September 2017, due to a termination of 23,000 inactive legacy data-only lines. Post-paid ARPU dipped by SGD1 to SGD69 per month, while pre-paid ARPU declined from SGD16 to SGD15. The cellco reported 895,000 PAYG users at that date, down from 902,000 a year earlier. Broadband customers meanwhile decreased by around 1,000 to 466,000 but ARPU remained stable at SGD37. Pay-TV customer connections continued to slide, reaching 467,000 at end-September, down from 477,000 the previous quarter and 507,000 in 3Q16.

Singapore, StarHub