Blame the lower associates' contributions and Optus' exceptional charges.
The lower contribution by its associates and the exceptional charges from workforce restructuring at Optus has led to the fall of telco giant Singtel's net profit for the past quarter, down 6% to $892m.
Its Australian consumer business grew on the back of higher uptake in mobile and fixed broadband services. Amongst the regional associates, Telkomsel increased its pre-tax profit contribution by 18% due to robust growth in data and digital services.
Meanwhile, the Group’s digital businesses continued to scale.
For the quarter, its operating revenue increased 8% to $4.23b with global digital and cyber security businesses contributing more than 9% of revenue.
EBITDA was up 3% while underlying net profit for the quarter slid 4%. Excluding Airtel, which is facing intense price competition in India, underlying net profit would have increased 3%.
“We’ve had a good start to the year with a more challenging business environment. This speaks to the resilience of our core consumer business and the investments we’ve made in the digital space in our efforts to grow new businesses. We are encouraged by their performance as they scale up to capture the opportunities in the new economy,” Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong said.
In Singapore, revenue rose 2% as growth in data usage, home services and equipment sales offset declines in voice and roaming services. Equipment sales rose on strong demand for new smartphones and more consumers re-contracting at higher tier plans to enjoy higher tier data allowances.
Mobile communication revenue remained resilient as data growth offset lower voice traffic. On the home front, revenue increased due to growth in subscriptions of higher-tier fibre broadband plans and add-on services as well as the sub-license of Premier League content rights. EBITDA dipped 3%. Excluding one-off items from the year before, EBITDA grew 2% on higher contributions from home services and content cost management.
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