SINGAPORE: Local telco Singtel on Thursday (May 18) reported a full-year net profit of S$3.85 billion for its Financial Year 2016/2017, down slightly from the previous year's S$3.87 billion.
The Group's net profit would have risen 2 per cent if not for its India subsidiary, Airtel, which is "facing intense price competition" in the country, the company said in a press release. Operating revenue dipped 2 per cent to S$16.71 billion as it was impacted by the decline in mobile termination rates in Australia, Singtel added.
In terms of its fourth quarter earnings, the telco said net profit rose 1.8 per cent to S$963 million although pre-tax profits for its regional associates declined 6 per cent to S$658 million. Operating revenue for the quarter ended Mar 31 rose 5 per cent to S$4.31 billion, led by growth in broadband services in Australia and enterprise ICT services in Singapore.
Singtel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong said: “We have turned in a strong set of results this quarter despite a challenging business environment. Our investments in networks and spectrum, differentiated content and innovative plans have helped us stand out from the competition and win new customers.”
STRONG SHOWING IN ENTERPRISE
The telco said in the press release that it recorded a strong performance for the quarter, with growth in cybersecurity services and new contract wins by NCS. ICT, which includes cloud and cybersecurity, now accounts for 47 per cent of its enterprise business, it added.
The Singapore enterprise business recorded revenue growth for the sixth consecutive quarter, but in Australia, the enterprise business was impacted by intense price competition and increased doubtful debts, according to the press release.
"We are strengthening our capabilities in cyber security, data analytics and cloud computing to support businesses and governments in their digital transformation,” Ms Chua said.
As for its consumer business, Singtel saw strong mobile data and broadband growth in Singapore and Australia, which mitigated the decline in voice and roaming services, it said.
Australia, for instance, recorded its highest quarterly mobile handset customer growth in five years with the addition of 78,000 postpaid customers and 64,000 prepaid handset customers - which helped contribute to the 3 per cent growth in revenue there.
Growth in mobile data, broadband, TV and equipment sales also helped revenue to go up 1 per cent in Singapore. This was boosted by increased demand for higher speed fibre broadband plans and the sub-license of content rights for the Premier League 2016/2017 season, the telco said.