TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singtel's net profit up 2% to $973m in Q3

Thanks to its strong performance in Singapore, Australia and India.

Singtel delivered a resilient Q3, with a strong core business and higher contributions from regional mobile associates leading to a 2% spike in net profit to $973m.

In the core business, ICT revenues grew, bolstered by contract wins by NCS and demand for cyber security services. Higher consumer home services revenue in Singapore and growth in postpaid mobile customer numbers in Australia helped mitigate continued voice to data substitution and roaming revenue declines.

The group said that amongst the associates, strong performance from Telkomsel offset the impact of very intense competition in India, driving associates’ pre-tax contributions up 2% to $660m. However, operating revenue was down 2%, with the impact of mandated cuts to mobile termination rates in Australia. 

Singtel group CEO Chua Sock Koong said the telco managed to hold good ground against the backdrop of a slowing Singapore economy.

"Our ICT business, particularly cyber security, has held us in good stead. This quarter, we focused on building out our global network of security operation centres while increasing resources in sales and delivery to meet the growing demand for cyber security services," she said.

Its Singapore consumer business showed improvement this quarter, with consumer revenues up 4% as home services revenue grew 7%.

"Our consumer business also did well, due primarily to ongoing cost management, the sub-license of Premier League content rights in Singapore and significant growth in branded postpaid mobile customers migrating to higher-tier plans in Australia," Chua noted.

Here's more from the group:

On the associates front, Telkomsel delivered a strong performance with pre-tax profits up 31% on the back of robust growth across data and digital businesses. However, Airtel’s pre-tax profits fell 27%, with the combined effects of intensifying competition from a new operator in India, higher spectrum amortisation and financing costs, further exacerbated by demonetisation. In Thailand, AIS continued its revenue growth momentum, leveraging its nationwide 4G network that now covers 98% of the population. However, AIS' earnings were affected by higher amortisation charges as well as higher costs incurred through the leasing of 2100Mhz spectrum and equipment from TOT. In the Philippines, Globe’s earnings increased on stable revenues and tight cost management. 

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