November 8, 2017 / 11:49 PM / a year ago

Singtel reports record Q2 profit on divestment gain

SINGAPORE, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Singapore Telecommunications Ltd on Thursday reported a record net profit and declared a special dividend in the second quarter, helped by a gain on the divestment of its stake in broadband unit NetLink NBN Trust.

Southeast Asia’s largest telecom operator posted a net profit of S$2.89 billion ($2.1 billion) for the three months ended September, compared with S$972 million a year ago.

The results included exceptional gains of S$1.96 billion. In July, NetLink raised about S$2.3 billion from its initial public offering, in which Singtel divested 75.2 percent of its stake.

Singtel’s underlying net profit, which excludes one-time items, fell 4 percent to S$929 million, hurt by lower profits at its regional associate Bharti Airtel Ltd.

In October, Bharti Airtel, India’s largest phone carrier, reported its smallest quarterly profit in nearly five years amid a price war.

Singtel also set a special dividend of 3 Singapore cents per share and an interim dividend of 6.8 Singapore cents.

The company said it maintained its full year outlook issued in May.

$1 = 1.3617 Singapore dollars Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Stephen Coates

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