SINGAPORE Feb 14 Singapore Telecommunications
Ltd, Southeast Asia's largest telecommunications
operator, posted on Thursday an 8.3 percent fall in
third-quarter net profit as weakness in India and the strong
Singapore dollar offset improved results from Thailand and
SingTel, Singapore's largest company by market
capitalisation, earned S$827 million ($667.99 million) in the
three months ended December, down from S$902 million a year ago.
Its results lagged the S$900 million average estimate of three
analysts polled by Reuters.
The lower profit was partly due to exceptional charges of
S$67 million, including Optus' ex-gratia payments for the
restructuring of its workforce and accelerated depreciation
charges related to Philippine associate Globe Telecom's
network modernisation and IT transformation programmes.
SingTel's underlying net profit fell 2.3 percent to S$874
million from S$895 million a year ago.
Looking ahead, SingTel said it expects group consolidated
revenue to decline by low single-digit level for the current
financial year ending March 2013, with earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation remaining stable.
SingTel, the dominant telecom operator in Singapore, owns
Optus in Australia as well as large stakes in regional players
such as India's Bharti, Indonesia's Telkomsel and Thailand's
Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS).
($1 = 1.2381 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by Kevin Lim and Eveline Danubrata; Editing by Matt