Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel Group) reported a 13.9% year-on-year drop in operating revenue to SGD3.543 billion (USD2.584 billion) in its fiscal first quarter ended 30 June 2020, attributed to softening economic and market conditions exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions and ongoing price competition. Quarterly group EBITDA fell 24.2% y-o-y to SGD897 million and EBIT (excluding regional associates’ contributions) plummeted 51.5% to SGD262 million in the three-month period, driven by lower equipment, roaming and pre-paid mobile revenues, delays in ICT projects and reduced customer spending.
In Singapore, Consumer fixed and mobile operating revenue fell 21.6% y-o-y to SGD406 million in April-June 2020, and Australian subsidiary Optus’ Consumer fixed/mobile revenue was down 13.3% to SGD1.604 billion, with lower mobile service/equipment revenue cited as the dominant factors, while group Enterprise revenue fell 4.5% to SGD1.378 billion. Singapore mobile customers fell to 4.263 million at end-June 2020 from 4.282 million the previous quarter, although Singapore fixed broadband subscribers remained level quarter-on-quarter at 642,000. Optus reported 10.307 million mobile and 1.083 million fixed broadband subscribers at 30 June, down from 10.448 million and 1.087 million respectively at end-March.
Post-tax contributions from Singtel’s regional associates – including Telkomsel (Indonesia), AIS (Thailand), Globe (Philippines) and Airtel (India) – rose 5.6% y-o-y to SGD267 million in the three months ended 30 June 2020, as Airtel recorded a lower net operating loss due primarily to higher mobile ARPU in India, mitigating declines at Telkomsel, AIS and Globe which were impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns.
Singtel also booked a net exceptional charge of SGD364 million, mainly comprising: its share of Airtel’s additional provisions for the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) matter following the Supreme Court of India’s decision in July and exceptional tax charges, partly offset by a dilution gain of SGD550 million on Singtel’s reduced equity interest in Airtel following a successful share placement with institutional investors by Bharti Telecom.