SingTel Q3 net profit falls 8.3 pct, sees revenue drop
The Singapore telco, which owns Australia's Optus and stakes in several mobile operators in the region, has been struggling to grow its earnings due to slowing growth in Singaporean and Australian mobile phone subscriptions and problems at Indian associate Bharti Airtel.
For the financial year ending March 2013, SingTel said it expects a low single-digit increase in revenue from Singapore and a mid single-digit drop in revenue from Australia.
SingTel, Singapore's largest company by market capitalisation, earned S$827 million ($668 million) in the three months ended December, falling from S$902 million a year ago as a strong Singapore dollar and one-off charges eroded its bottom line.
Its results lagged the S$900 million average estimate of three analysts polled by Reuters.
The lower profit was mainly due to exceptional charges of S$67 million for the restructuring of Optus' workforce and accelerated depreciation charges at Philippine associate Globe Telecom's network modernisation.
SingTel's underlying net profit fell 2.3 percent to S$874 million from S$895 million a year ago.
Revenue fell 5 percent to S$4.60 billion while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were stable at S$1.26 billion.
SingTel said its Australian operation Optus reported EBITDA growth of 3 percent during the quarter, despite a 6 percent decline in revenue.
"EBITDA margin improved 2.0 percentage points to 25.2 percent, reflecting strong cost management," it added.
Regional mobile phone associates,
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