SingTel sees first revenue fall in 14 yrs
SingTel, Southeast Asia's largest telecommunications firm by market value, relies on Australian unit Optus for two-thirds of its revenue, but competition with the likes of Telstra has grown increasingly fierce amid slowing growth in that country's mobile market.
SingTel said on Wednesday that it now expects a mid-single digit percentage decline in Australian operating revenue for the financial year ending March 2013, a reversal from its earlier forecast for a low-single-digit increase.
With the revised revenue outlook for Australia, the consolidated revenue of the group is expected to decline by a low-single digit level, SingTel said in a statement. SingTel last reported a fall in annual revenue in 1998/99, Thomson Reuters data shows.
SingTel, however, expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at the group level to be stable, in line with earlier guidance.
For its July-September quarter, SingTel, which also owns large stakes in several mobile operators including India's Bharti Airtel and Indonesia's Telkomsel, had an underlying net profit of S$886 million ($725 million). That was up only slightly from S$885 million a year earlier and undershot the S$896 million average estimate of six analysts polled by Reuters.
The main issue is with Australia. It's really in the pricing, on bundles offered on fixed line products that is impacting top-line revenue, said Michael Wu, an equities analyst with Morningstar in Sydney.
We were expecting
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