Singtel triples Q2 profit after NetLink Trust IPO

09 Nov 2017

Singtel has reported a record net profit of S$2.9 billion ($2.13 billion) for its fiscal second quarter as a result of the strong performance of the NetLink Trust IPO.

The sale of a 75.2% stake in NetLink NBN Trust the company building the passive infrastructure for Singapore's next-generation nationwide broadband network (NG-NBN) helped Singtel lift its net profit by 197.1% year-on-year for the quarter.

Singtel was required to agree to bring its shareholding in NetLink Trust to below 25% by April 2018 as a condition of winning the tender for the NG-NBN infrastructure project.

Underlying net profit by contrast fell 4.1% to S$929 million, with Singtel attributing the decline to the weak performance of its minority-held Indian mobile affiliate Bharti Airtel.

Excluding Airtel, underlying net profit would have grown 3%. Group revenue meanwhile increased 6.9% to S$4.37 billion.

Singapore consumer revenues dipped 2% year-on-year during Q3, while consumer revenue from wholly-owned Australian subsidiary Optus dipped 1% due to lower smartphone sales.

Optus' mobile service revenue increased 2% as it added around 69,000 postpaid customers, but ARPU continued to be impacted by growing demand for SIM-only plans.

Singtel's group enterprise revenue meanwhile grew 6% as demand for ICT services offset declines in traditional communications revenue.

The operator's share of pre-tax earnings from its network of regional mobile associates meanwhile declined 7.2% to S$620 million.

Singtel reaffirmed its forecast for the financial year of a mid single digit growth in consolidated revenue and low single digit gains in mobile revenue from both Australia and Singapore.

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