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SingTel profit and revenue down on strong Singaporean dollar

Singapore Telecommunications has reported a 3 percent dip in revenue and EBITDA, citing the rise of the Singaporean dollar for the drop in performance.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

SingTel experienced a drop in both revenue and profit of just over 3 percent for the quarter to June 30, when compared to the same time last year.

The Singaporean telco giant clocked up SG$4.1b in revenue, which was down by 3.4 percent, and walked home with SG$1.254b of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), which represented a fall of 3.2 percent on the SG$1.296b of EBITDA reported in the three months to June 30 2013.

The telco was at pains to point out that foreign currency movements had contributed to the results, with the company saying that, had regional currencies remained constant across reporting periods, both the revenue and EBITDA would have been stable instead of decreasing.

Net profit fell by 17 percent to SG$835 million, with AU$24 million spent on the company's job cuts in Australia in April, SG$17 million removed due to SingTel's share of Indian telco Airtel's exceptional losses, and the lack of the SG$150m gained last year when SingTel lowered its stake in Airtel.

"This quarter, the Group reported strong operating results and increased free cash flow," said Ms Chua Sock Koong, SingTel group CEO. "Our regional mobile associates delivered a solid performance. Their markets are experiencing strong growth, spurred by improvements in 3G networks, handsets and content."

"We are collaborating with our associates to accelerate investments in networks, and launching new data and digital services."

Over the quarter, SingTel launched 300Mbps 4G services and voice over LTE in Singapore, and its digital advertising subsidiary, Amobee, acquired Adconion's North America and Australia units as well as Kontera Technologies for a total of US$385 million.

In total, SingTel can lay claim to 525 million customers in 25 countries.

As part of its results filing today, SingTel announced that its Australian Optus operation reported a jump in profit to $AU597 million for the quarter to June 30, as revenue continued on its downward trajectory and fell 2.8 percent to $2.061 billion for the quarter.

Optus doubled its 4G customer base in the year to June 30 to 2.43 million customers, however in total, its complete customer base fell by 1.3 percent year-on-year to 9.4 million, 5.4 million of whom are postpaid customers.

During the quarter, Optus signed a five-year deal with Westpac that will see the telco provide the bank with its domestic mobile network and managed services.

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