But intensifying competition and slowing mobile subscriber growth in Australias saturated market -- SingTels biggest earnings centre -- would weigh on profits, analysts said. Majority government-owned SingTel said in May that Optus revenue growth would ease in the current fiscal year, but the unit aimed to exceed the overall market growth of 4-5%.
On Thursday, SingTel is expected to report an average underlying profit -- which strips out goodwill and exceptionals -- of S$778.2 million ($468.8 million) for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30, compared with S$696 million in the year-earlier quarter, a Reuters poll of 8 analysts showed.
The estimates ranged from S$743 million to S$797 million. Facing a mature home market, where over nine in 10 people own a cellphone, SingTel has spent S$17 billion ($10 billion) in recent years buying operators in high-growth Asian nations with fewer cellphone users, and in the bigger Australian market. It now derives about 75% of revenues and two-thirds of pre-tax earnings from operations outside Singapore. SingTel owns major stakes in five operators -- 21.5% of Thailands Advanced Info Service Plc. 30.8% in Indias Bharti Group, 44.6% of Globe Telecom Inc. in the Philippines, 35% in Indonesias PT Telkomsel and 45% of Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Ltd., purchased as recently as June.