Singtel Q3 profit grows 2% to $686.6m

Singapore's Singtel grew its net profit for its fiscal third quarter by 2% to S$973 million ($686.6 million) in the face of declining operating revenue. 

Revenue fell 2% to S$4.41 billion as a result of a regulator-mandated reduction in mobile termination rates in Australia, the home market of Singtel's wholly-owned subsidiary Optus.

The reduction led to a 10% decline in group consumer revenue from Australia to A$1.81 billion ($1.38 billion), but consumer revenue from Singapore grew 4% for the quarter to S$657 million, as home services revenue increased by 7%.

Group enterprise revenue was mostly flat at S$1.65 billion, with revenue from cybersecurity up 10% to S$113 million. Group digital life revenue meanwhile grew 22% to S$167 million, driven by a strong performance from digital marketing arm Amobee.

Singtel's share of pre-tax earnings from its regional mobile associates meanwhile grew 2% - or 0.6% in constant currency - to S$660 million. Indonesia's Telkomsel delivered a strong performance with pre-tax profits up 31%, but Bhari Airtel's pre-tax profits fell 27% due to the ongoing price war in India.

Thailand's AIS likewise saw its pretax profit decline by 28% due to spectrum and financing costs, reducing its contribution to S$89 million. The Philippines' Globe's contribution grew 18% to S$66 million.

This quarter also included contribution from the company's new 21% stake in Intouch, acquired in November. Intouch contributed a pre-tax profit of S$4 million.

“This is a resilient set of results. We have managed to hold good ground against the backdrop of a slowing Singapore economy and more challenging business environment all around,” Singtel group CEO Chua Sock Koong commented.

“While there are concerns of a global economic slowdown, the growth story in the developing markets where we are invested remains compelling as mobile data usage continued to grow across all our mobile associates.”

The Singtel group's total mobile customer base across its operations and those of its affiliates meanwhile grew another 2% during the quarter to 640 million.

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