M1 net profit down 14.6% in Q1

M1 reported a net profit fall of 14.6 per cent to S$36.3 million in the first quarter on higher operating expenses.
M1 reported a net profit fall of 14.6 per cent to S$36.3 million in the first quarter on higher operating expenses. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Net profit at M1 fell 14.6 per cent to S$36.3 million in the first quarter on higher operating expenses.

Operating revenue rose 1.2 per cent from a year ago to S$260.7 million. In contrast, operating expenses rose 4.3 per cent to S$214.1 million.

Service revenue in the quarter ended March 31 came in at S$201.5 million, down just slightly from S$203.4 million a year earlier as a 23 per cent surge in fixed services revenue offset a 10.7 per cent fall in international call revenues dragged down by lower premium IDD calls and a 3.6 per cent dip in mobile revenues, owing to lower roaming revenue.

Mobile data contribution to service revenue rose to 55.1 per cent last quarter, up from 53.1 per cent in the first quarter a year ago.

M1's average revenue per post-paid user was S$55.80, down from S$58.60 a year ago.

Average postpaid smartphone data usage increased to 3.7GB per month in the first quarter, up from 3.3GB per month a year ago.

During the quarter, M1 also added 24,000 postpaid customers and 3,000 prepaid customers.

M1 said that mobile virtual network operator Circles.Life, which leases capacity from M1, contributed to the increase in postpaid customers, but did not disclose the size of the contribution.

M1 is also due to pay S$208 million for three spectrum lots.

It said it is likely to pay the S$20 million for the 900 MHz spectrum lot thus year, whereas the S$188 million payment for two 700 MHz spectrum lots will be made six months prior to the availability of the spectrum, and the availability dates have not been fixed.

On its dividend policy, M1 said it will maintain its 80 per cent payout ratio.

First quarter earnings per share was 3.9 cents, down 14.2 per cent from 4.5 cents a year earlier. Net asset value per share was 47.2 cents as at March 31, up from 43.4 cents on Dec 31.

The results were posted after trading hours. The counter closed one cent higher at S$2.14 on Monday.