SingTel third-quarter net profit up 6% on strong performances by affiliates

Singapore Telecom (SingTel) said Thursday its net profit rose 6 per cent year on year in January-December, but a strong local dollar pared down overseas earnings. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 
Singapore Telecom (SingTel) said Thursday its net profit rose 6 per cent year on year in January-December, but a strong local dollar pared down overseas earnings. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN 

SINGAPORE (AFP) - Singapore Telecom (SingTel) said Thursday its net profit rose 6 per cent year on year in January-December, but a strong local dollar pared down overseas earnings.

Southeast Asia's biggest telecom firm by revenue said net profit came in at $872 million on strong performances by its regional affiliates.

Revenue totalled $4.26 billion, it said in a statement.

"The (SingTel) group's consumer business and the regional mobile associates performed strongly," the firm added.

Pre-tax profit from SingTel's regional mobile associates reached $506 million in the three-month period, up 11.4 per cent from the same quarter last year.

However, their contributions were weighed by a stronger Singapore dollar.

SingTel's share from its affiliates is converted into Singapore dollars.

The Australian dollar fell 9 per cent against its Singapore counterpart during the quarter, while the Indonesian rupiah eased 18 per cent and the Indian rupee dipped 12 per cent.

In constant currency terms, net profit would have risen 13 per cent, SingTel said.

SingTel has expanded beyond its small domestic market and owns partial stakes in India's Bharti Airtel, Indonesia's Telkomsel, Thailand's Advanced Info Service, the Philippines' Globe Telecom and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom.

It also wholly owns SingTel Optus in Australia.

The firm also said its combined mobile customer base as of end December climbed 9 per cent to cross the half billion mark.