SINGAPORE: Singtel's fourth quarter net profit fell 19 per cent to S$781 million compared to the same period a year ago mainly due to weaker results from its overseas subsidiaries, Airtel and Telkomsel, as well as adverse currency statements.
In a statement released to the Singapore Exchange on Thursday (May 17), Singtel stated that the results of the India-based Airtel was impacted by intense competition as a new player in the market led an aggressive pricing campaign. This was worsened by required cuts in mobile termination rates in India.
As for Telkomsel, the Indonesia-based subsidiary's earnings was affected by the decline in legacy services and heightened price competition, particularly during the implementation of SIM card registration as mandated by the Indonesian government.
Operating revenue for the quarter remained stable at S$4.3 billion, a 0.4 per cent decline compared to a year ago.
Free cash flow grew 4.8 per cent on working capital movements and lower capital expenditure.
For its full-year results, Singtel's net profit grew 42 per cent to a record S$5.4 billion, helped by gains from the divestment of NetLink Trust, a fibre optics network provider which went public July last year.
Operating revenue went up by 5 per cent to S$17.5 billion, a result of higher customer numbers in Australia as well as contributions from the Group's digital business.
Free cash flow for the full-year grew 18 per cent to S$3.61 billion.
Singtel is proposing a final dividend per share of 10.7 cents, bringing the total dividend per share for the year to 17.5 cents.
Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong said: "To forge new areas of growth, we are accelerating collaborations with our regional associates to build an ecosystem of digital services by leveraging the Group’s strengths and customer base across 21 countries.”