TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singtel full-year profits up 41.5% to $5.45b

It was boosted by gains from NetLink Trust and improved performance by its core business.

Singtel's profits for the full-year jumped 41.5% within a year from $3.85b to $5.45b. Revenue also grew 4.9% to $17.53b.

According to its financial statement, profits were bolstered by gains from the divestment of NetLink Trust and a strong performance by its core business.

Operating revenue for Singtel's Singapore consumer segment dipped 2.7% on lower voice services with increased data substitution and the decline in equipment sales. In Australia, operating revenue grew 3.9% and EBITDA jumped 4% thanks to the growth in the number of mobile customers and higher NBN migration revenues. 

Its group enterprise’s operating revenue was stable with growth in ICT and Equipment sales being offset by the decline in traditional carriage services. However, EBITDA fell 3% due to the increased mix of lower-margin ICT business with the investment in new growth platforms and pricing pressures in traditional products.

Operating revenue for Group Digital Life (GDL) doubled to $1.08b, driven by Turn’s contribution and a strong performance from Amobee’s media and social businesses. 

For the fourth quarter, however, profits fell 19% from $963m to $781m. Profit contributions from associates fell mainly on "adverse" currency movements, lower profits at Telkomsel and Airtel, and lower contribution from NetLink NBN Trust following Singtel’s reduction in its economic interest.

"In Singapore, operating conditions continued to be highly competitive," the company said.

Singapore consumer revenue fell 4.4% due to declines in mobile communications, equipment sales, and voice. EBITDA slipped 14% on lower revenue and higher mobile acquisition and retention costs from investments in higher value customers. In Australia, operating revenue grew by 2.6% whilst EBITDA declined 4.9%. 

Group enterprise's contribution to operating revenue fell to 39%, but it was stable with growth in ICT and Equipment sales offsetting the declines in traditional carriage services. The increase in ICT was led by Cybersecurity, Smart cities, and Cloud. 

GDL contributed 5% to the Group’s operating revenue, up from 3% in the same quarter last year. 

The directors have proposed a final ordinary dividend of 10.7 cents per share to be paid on 13 August 2018.

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