NetLink NBN Trust, the former Singtel Group company tasked with building, managing and operating Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN), has published its first quarterly results since its high-profile public listing in July this year. In its fiscal 2Q18 results for the three months ended 30 September 2017, the company posted net profit of SGD13 million (USD9.6 million) – 4.9% above the pre-IPO forecast – as EBITDA came in 2.1% above forecast at SGD46.8 million thanks to lower operating and staff costs; EBITDA margin was 72.7%, 2.3pp higher than expected. Revenues for the three-month period reached SGD64.8 million, 1.2% below forecast (SGD65.5 million).
As at 30 September, NetLink NBN Trust had increased its number of residential connections to more than 1.142 million, up 4.4% from 1.095 million 31 March 2017, as non-residential connections climbed 1.5% in six months to 42,028. It also confirmed that residential and non-residential connections were tracking forecast. As at 30 September, its passive fibre infrastructure passed more than 1.320 million homes and 30,821 commercial premises. NetLink NBN Trust noted that revenue derived from installations was lower than expected, as many end users already have appropriate termination boxes in their homes, although it said installation revenue will be bolstered by new activation charges that come into effect from January 2018, adding SGD53 per residential and SGD64 per business connection.
NetLink NBN Trust also pointed out that it is supporting mobile newcomer TPG Telecom’s bid to deploy a mobile backhaul network – given it is mandated to provide national mobile coverage by December 2018.