Singtel Group has published its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2023 (FY23), with operating revenue down 4.7% year-on-year at SGD14.624 billion (USD10.85 billion), compared with SGD15.339 billion in FY22, although net profit climbed 14.2% to SGD2.225 billion from SGD1.949 billion as its core businesses performed well, ‘underpinned by robust mobile growth and price uplifts as international travel and roaming recovered, rising 5G adoption and an increase in demand for ICT services’. The Group booked consolidated EBITDA of SGD3.686 billion for the full year, down 2.2% on an annualised basis, impacted by ‘the absence of NBN migration revenue and contributions from Amobee, as well as a 6% depreciation of the Australian Dollar,’ while underlying net profit (which strips out exceptional items) rose 6.8% to SGD2.053 billion from SGD1.923 billion. Free cash flow fell by 15.2% y-o-y mainly due to lower operating cash flow as a result of working capital movements and less dividends from the associates, but this was partly mitigated by lower capital expenditure (SGD2.162 billion).
In addition, Singtel reported that pre-tax profit contributions from regional associates grew 10% to SGD2.27 billion despite currency headwinds. Airtel in India, for example, delivered a double-digit increase in operating revenue and EBITDA mainly from higher mobile ARPU. Meanwhile, Indonesian operator Telkomsel recorded good data growth but ‘faced pressure from declining legacy services’, while AIS Thailand’s results were affected ‘by intense mobile competition which eased in the second half amid market consolidation’.
As at 31 March 2023, the carrier reported that the aggregate number of mobile subscriptions across the group (comprising Singtel, Optus, Airtel, Telkomsel, Globe and AIS) stood at 775 million, down from 778 million y-o-y.
Commenting on the results, Mr Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO, said: ‘Our solid financial performance in the second year of our strategic reset reflects the tangible progress we have made against our business priorities in spite of the uncertain macroeconomic environment. Our 5G leadership, differentiated product offerings, roaming recovery and focus on cost is reinvigorating the core businesses which saw a 15% increase in EBIT. Optus produced a strong result and recovered well from last year’s cyberattack. In our growth engines, our regional data centre business expanded its footprint to Indonesia and Thailand with new projects that will more than double our capacity in the next three years. NCS’ inroads into Australia and the enterprise space have allowed us to diversify our ICT business geographically and across customer segments. Our capital recycling programme continued to unlock value this year with more than SGD2.8 billion raised largely from Airtel, allowing us to strengthen our balance sheet and deliver greater returns for shareholders.’