Singtel reported a stable Q4 net profit for the quarter that ended on March 31, with a 2 percent increase in operating revenue at SGD4.34 billion. This was up 6 percent in constant currency terms.
In a press statement on May 15, Singtel attributed its good performance to its resilient consumer business and growing digital businesses.
However, the telecommunications company noted that pre-tax profits for the regional associates declined 20 percent to SGD389 million. This was due to Airtel’s results which was impacted by competitive pressures, and the associates’ higher depreciation, spectrum amortisation and network costs from the continued expansion of their respective 4G networks.
Net profit, which included exceptional gains from Airtel, was stable at SGD773 million.
In constant currency terms, operating revenue for the full year that ended on March 31 was up 4 percent to SGD17.37 billion. This was driven by growth in ICT, digital services and higher equipment sales from mobile connections across Singapore and Australia.
However, net profit fell 44 percent to SGD3.10 billion – due to an exceptional gain last year from the divestment of approximately 75 percent of NetLink Trust (NLT). Underlying net profit declined 21 percent on losses from Airtel, lower contributions from Telkomsel, erosion of carriage services, lower NLT contributions with the reduced stake as well as currency headwinds.
“The fundamentals of our core business remained strong. We gained market share in mobile across both Singapore and Australia led by our product innovations, content and services that were well-received by customers," said Ms Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO.
"Looking ahead, we will accelerate our digitalisation efforts to drive better customer experience and improve productivity and cost structure by transforming our processes.”
Despite "intense competition" which has affected the markets in India and Indonesia this past year, Ms Chua said Singtel continues to be optimistic about the growth potential of our associates’ markets. "As a Group, we are committed to deliver a superior digital experience for our more than 650 million customers across the region."
Singtel Group’s financial position and cash flow generation remain strong. Free cash flow for the year was up 1 percent to SGD3.65 billion, according to the press statement.