Singapore – Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today reported that the group’s operations in Singapore and Australia, as well as the associates’, have delivered stable results in the third quarter of 2012.
In Singapore, revenue grew 1% to S$1.70 billion driven by contributions from its new digital services and continued strength of its mobile and ICT businesses. Revenue from Mobile Communications increased 3% to S$507 million as SingTel added a strong 63,000 mobile customers in the quarter. This brings its total customer base to 3.76 million, representing a leading market share of 46.6% as at 31 December 2012.
On the pay-TV front, revenue from mio TV grew 18% to S$33 million. mio TV continues to widen the variety of its content offerings and added 7,000 customers to reach 398,000 customers as at 31 December 2012. It recently crossed the 400,000 customer milestone.
In Australia, Optus is restructuring the business to drive profitable growth, improve customer experience and capitalise on the growing demand for mobile data. Against a backdrop of an industry slowdown and mandated mobile termination rate cuts, Optus reported stable results. While operating revenue declined 6% to A$2.28 billion, cost efficiencies lifted EBITDA to A$576 million.
The group continues to invest in networks and strengthen its core business as well as transformational initiatives to drive longer term growth. According to the company, as a result of these investments, it has incurred higher depreciation, spectrum amortisation charges, and increased costs from the acquisition of digital companies.
The group also registered positive charges of S$67 million, including Australia’s Optus’ ex-gratia payments for the restructuring of its workforce and accelerated depreciation charges related to Globe’s network modernisation and IT transformation programmes.
These factors, together with the impact of the weaker foreign currencies, led to an 8% decline in net profit to S$827 million. Excluding these exceptional charges, underlying net profit fell 2% to S$874 million. Group revenue fell 5% to S$4.60 billion and EBITDA was stable at S$1.26 billion. The company also continues to generate strong free cash flow. For the nine months ended December 2012, group free cash flow rose 1% to S$2.49 billion.