SingTel Q1 profit up 7 per cent to $1.01b due to better cost management

The SingTel logo is displayed atop of one of the company's public payphone kiosks in Singapore, on Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011. South-east Asia's largest telecommunications operator Singapore Telecommunications Ltd reported a 7 per cent rise in first-quar
The SingTel logo is displayed atop of one of the company's public payphone kiosks in Singapore, on Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011. South-east Asia's largest telecommunications operator Singapore Telecommunications Ltd reported a 7 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, helped by its consumer business and contribution from its regional mobile associates. -- FILE PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SingTel posted a 7 per cent rise in first-quarter net profits to hit $1.01 billion. The telco's profits were lifted by better cost management and higher contributions from its regional mobile associates.

Year-on-year, its Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) also rose by 4.3 per cent to $1.29 billion.

However, group revenue for the three months to June 30, fell 5 per cent to $4.29 billion due to a slowdown in its Australian mobile business and a weaker Australian currency. The two key things that hit revenue Down Under: mandatory mobile termination rate cuts and falling mobile subscriber numbers.

During the three months to June 30, its Australian Optus unit lost 59,000 mobile subscribers, bringing the total base to 9.53 million.In Singapore, however, the group added 41,000 mobile customers. As at June 30, it had 3.84 million mobile users.

Of these, 537,000 were on its fourth-generation (4G) mobile data plans, all of which are bundled with tiered mobile data charges. This was a rise from 378,000 4G subscribers as at March 31.

The continuous shift from the previous generous 12GB data bundles to the tiered plans, which start from as low as 2GB, also lifted revenue.