SingTel Q2 net profit misses view, hurt by currency

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Southeast Asia's largest telecommunications operator Singapore Telecommunications reported a 0.3 per cent rise in second quarter net profit on Thursday, missing expectations as the strong Singapore dollar hit earnings overseas.

The company saw revenue fall 9 per cent compared with the same period last year, hit mainly by the drop in the Australian dollar.

SingTel's major overseas businesses are in Australia, India and Indonesia, whose currencies have all depreciated by around 10 per cent against the Singapore dollar over the past year.

SingTel posted a net profit of $870 million, below the average $893 million forecast of five analysts polled by Reuters. Its earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $1.3 billion, up 3 per cent compared with a year ago.

The company said the number of mobile customers is up 7 per cent from a year ago to 486 million, and going forward it is focusing on users in developing markets starting to access the internet via their phones.

"Leveraging our experience in Singapore and Australia, we are increasing our collaboration with our regional mobile associates in digital services as these markets transition to higher data usage," chief executive Chua Sock Koong said in a statement.

The company stuck to the outlook it gave in its first quarter earnings in August, when it said it expects group revenue to fall by mid single digit level and EBITDA to decline by low single digits for the financial year ending March 2014.