- Planetary alignment peaks with celestial show this weekend
- UK fighters escort Pakistan plane to airport, two arrests
- Arizona jury foreman says believed Jodi Arias was abused
- Judge rules against 'America's toughest sheriff' in racial profiling lawsuit
- Stockholm calmer but violence spreads outside Swedish capital |
UPDATE 1-SingTel Q1 net up 3.2 pct, sees stable FY earnings
* Q1 net profit S$945 mln beats consensus estimate S$923 mln
* Sees low single-digit revenue growth, stable EBITDA this FY
* Free cash flow declined 21 percent to S$725 million
SINGAPORE, Aug 14 (Reuters) - Singapore Telecommunications , Southeast Asia's biggest telephone company, on Tuesday posted a better-than-expected 3.2 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, and reiterated its forecast for low single-digit revenue growth and stable earnings this financial year.
The outlook for revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) may, however, be affected by exchange rate movements, which hurt earnings in the April-June quarter as the Australian dollar fell 3.1 percent against the Singapore dollar from a year earlier.
The Indian rupee declined 18.3 percent against the Singapore dollar while the Indonesian rupiah fell 5.9 percent.
"The group delivered a resilient performance this quarter despite regional currency headwinds and operating challenges in India," SingTel Group CEO Chua Sock Koong said in a statement.
Looking ahead, Chua said SingTel was trying to build growth platforms by buying and creating digital content.
SingTel earned S$945 million ($758.8 million) in its fiscal first quarter ended June, up from S$916 million a year ago, helped by larger one-time gains and as higher earnings from Thailand and Indonesia offset a drop in contributions from India's Bharti Airtel.
The earnings beat the average estimate of S$923 million of four analysts polled by Reuters.
SingTel's core net profit, which excludes one-time gains, fell 2.6 percent to S$850 million from S$873 million a year earlier, while free cash flow declined 21 percent to S$725 million mainly from working capital changes and lower cash flow from Australian unit Optus.
SingTel owns Australia's No.2 telco, Optus, and holds large stakes in several regional mobile phone operators including Bharti Airtel, Indonesia's Telkomsel, Thailand's Advanced Info Service (AIS) and Globe Telecom of the Philippines.
Justin Harper, head of research at IG Markets in Singapore, said Singapore telcos remain attractive investments because of their dividend yields of above 4.5 percent, which appear resilient amid the economic downturn.
"SingTel benefits in that it is majority government-owned thanks to a 54 percent ownership through Temasek ... But what could drag SingTel down is Bahrti, which continues to suffer setbacks, albeit in a tough and competitive market," he added.
Bharti, India's top telecoms carrier and 32 percent owned by SingTel, last week posted its 10th consecutive quarter of profit declines as cut-throat competition squeezed margins, sending its shares to their lowest level in two years.
But AIS, Thailand's top mobile phone operator, reported a 42 percent rise in quarterly net profit due to higher revenue from both voice and data services.
SingTel shares have risen 9.7 percent so far this year, lagging a roughly 15 percent rise in the benchmark Straits Times Index (Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Matt Driskill and Chris Gallagher)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this