Singtel Group has posted its financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended 31 December 2021 (Q3 FY21) highlighting a 23.8% year-on-year increase in net profit to SGD734 million (USD544.9 million) from SGD593 million in the corresponding year-ago period, lifted ‘by net exceptional gains’. The net gain was mainly attributable to the disposal of the Group’s 70% equity stake in Australia Tower Network, which was ‘partially offset by provisions for primary tax, interest and penalties’ arising from a court judgement on 17 December 2021 relating to a tax dispute in Australia.
In its quarterly Business Update, however, Singtel reported that its operating performance for the third quarter was ‘impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19, structural challenges in legacy businesses and lower handset sales’. Consolidated operating revenue dropped by 7.7% y-o-y to SGD3.913 billion on lower Optus NBN migration revenue in Australia and equipment sales, as EBITDA fell 1.7% to SGD990 million and EBIT (before associates’ contributions) declined 4.3% to SGD313 million from SGD328 million previously. More positively, underlying EBIT and EBITDA (which excludes NBN migration revenue and financial support credits in Singapore related to COVID) grew by 25.1% and 6.4% respectively fuelled by the Group’s consumer businesses across Singapore and Australia.
Commenting, Group CEO, Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, said: ‘We continue to see good momentum in Optus’ mobile business in Australia as well as strong growth from our data centre services as enterprises accelerate their digital transformation. Airtel remained the bright spot among the regional associates, demonstrating a sustained profit turnaround with strong performances in both India and Africa.’