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StarHub 2012 profit jumps 14 percent, CEO to retire

Telco's net profit for the quarter slid 5 percent, but jumped 14 percent on a full-year basis bolstered by fixed network revenues. CEO Neil Montefiore is also stepping down in March this year.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

StarHub saw operating revenue for the fourth quarter increase 7 percent to S$654.1 million (USS$528 million), compared to S$612.6 million (US$494 million) the year before. But its net profit after tax dipped 5 percent to reach S$87.9 million (US$70.9 million). Net profit for 2012 overall, however, jumped 14 percent to S$359.3 million (US$290 million), the company said.

The Singapore telco also announced its current COO Tan Tong Hai will replace CEO Neil Montefiore, who is retiring later this year.

StarHub's fourth quarter net profit dipped 5 percent, although net profit for the whole of 2012 increased 14 percent.

In a statement Wednesday, the telco stated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) for the fourth quarter, which ended December 31, 2012, dropped 5 percent to S$175.9 million (US$142 million).

On a full year basis, operating revenue increased to S$2.4 billion (US$1.9 billion), while EBITDA was 7 percent higher at S$719.8 million (US$581 million), up from S$676 million (US$546 million) the year before, it added.

For its outlook in 2013, StarHub said it expects operating revenue to grow in single-digit range.

Fixed network main revenue contributor
According to the company, total service revenue for both the fourth quarter and the full year grew 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Among its services, fixed network revenue saw the biggest growth in revenue. It increased 8 percent year-on-year for the quarter, and 6 percent for the full year. Specifically, data and Internet services revenue--which makes up the bulk of the fixed network revenue--increased 5 percent year-on-year for both for the quarter and full year. Voice services revenue increased 19 percent for the quarter, and 13 percent higher for the full year.

Mobile revenue dipped 1 percent for the quarter but increased 1 percent overall, compared to 2012. Broadband revenue went up 4 percent to S$62.9 million (US$50.7 million) for the quarter compared to a year ago, while full-year revenue was S$7.7 million (US$6.2 million) higher. StarHub added its residential broadband customer base increased 1 percent year-on-year, ending the fourth quarter with 444,000 customers.

Pay TV revenue dropped 1 percent year-on-year for the quarter, but jumped 5 percent in total to S$396.3 million (US$320 million). StarHub said the increase was due to UEFA Euro 2012 broadcast, HD (high-definition) set-top box rental, higher take up of add-on channels, and full year impact of the S$2 (US$1.62) subscription rate increase effective since August 2011.

New CEO in March
In a separate statement Wednesday, StarHub also announced its CEO, Neil Montefiore, will retire by this month and be succeeded by current COO Tan in March.

"It has been a privilege to lead the StarHub Group for the past three years. I just turned 60 recently and I think it is the right time for me to retire from a full-time executive role. Moreover, I am leaving StarHub in good hands. Tan and I have worked together for many years and I am confident that I will be turning the helm of StarHub over to yet another seasoned industry executive who can continue steering the Group successfully," Montefiore said in the statement.

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