Forex gains help boost SingTel net

Robert Clark
13 May 2010

Singapore Telecom has boosted its quarterly net 12%, thanks to foreign currency gains and moderate growth across its business.

The company said Q1 operating revenue grew 25% to S$4.47 billion ($3.23b) as it recorded earnings of S$1.02 billion.

Underlying profit was up 6.6%, however, and its S$327 million exceptional foreign exchange gain was largely offset by another impairment provision of S$321 million, mostly from Warid Pakistan.

Australian unit Optus increased income 14% to A$220 million ($197.6m), with mobile service sales up 11%, while Indonesian cellco Telkomsel increased pretax contribution by 25% to S$205 million, lifted by the 15% appreciation of the Indonesian rupiah.

In its home market the IT & Engineering group grew sales 39% to S$463 million, driven by the next-gen rollout, for which SingTel is the key contractor. SingTel recorded S$81 million in sales fro the quarter and S$181 million for the full year from the rollout, which is expected to accelerate in the 2010-11 financial year.

Full-year income rose 13% to S$3.91 billion, “reflecting strong performance from Singapore, Australia and significant improvement” at Telkomsel.

The company’s mobile customer base in affiliates across the region grew 17% over the year to reach 293 million at March 31.

SingTel said operating revenue in the coming financial year in its Singapore business would grow at “mid single-digit level, driven by higher mobile, IT & Engineering and mio TV revenue.”

However, ebitda margin was likely to decline to around 35% cent because of the planned heavy investment in mio.

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