SingTel Q3 net slumps 9.6%

Dylan Bushell-Embling
13 Feb 2012

Singapore's SingTel saw its net profit fall 9.6% in the December quarter to S$902 million ($717.1 million), despite a 2.7% increase in revenue.

The company blamed the decline on higher customer acquisition costs in Singapore, 3G rollout costs accrued by Bharti Airtel and weaker contributions from the other regional mobile affiliates it owns stakes in.

SingTel earned a revenue of S$4.83 billion for the quarter, with domestic revenue increasing 2.5% to S$1.67 billion.

Wholly-owned subsidiary Optus grew its revenue 1.5% to A$2.42 billion ($2.59 billion), or 2.8% in local currency to S$3.15 billion.

But SingTel's share of Bharti Airtel's pre-tax profit fell 30.3% to S$128 million, as a result of the Indian operator's hefty spending on 3G rollouts, as well as finance expenses and higher taxes. SingTel owns a 32.25% share in Airtel.

All told, the contribution from SingTel's mobile affiliates – Airtel, Indonesia's Telkomsel, the Philippines' Globe Telecom, Thailand's AIS, Bangladesh's Warid and Pakistan's PBTL – declined 7.9% to S$449 million.

Separately, SingTel revealed its total customer base including its mobile affiliates increased 13% year-on-year during the quarter to 433.5 million.

Bharti Airtel's mobile customer base grew 17% to 233 million. At home, SingTel ended the year with 3.5 million mobile customers, while Optus' mobile subscribers grew 5% to 9.4 million.

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