Singtel Q3 profit up 23.8% to $734m on gains from Australia tower asset disposal

Singtel noted that post-tax contributions from its regional associates was up 13 per cent to $332 million. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singtel posted a 23.8 per cent rise in net profit to $734 million for its third quarter ended Dec 31, 2021, from $593 million a year ago.

This was mainly due to a net exceptional gain from the disposal of its 70 per cent stake in Australia Tower Network. This gain, however, was partially offset by provisions for primary tax, interest and penalties from an unfavourable ruling for a tax dispute in Australia, the telco said in its business update on Tuesday (Feb 15).

Meanwhile, revenue for the quarter was down 7.7 per cent to $3.91 billion, from $4.24 billion a year ago, due to lower national broadband network (NBN) migration revenue and equipment sales, and lower Jobs Support Scheme credits.

In Singapore, its consumer business saw a 5.2 per cent decline in operating revenue due to lower mobile equipment sales revenue amid global supply constraints, lower mobile connections and longer handset replacement cycles.

As for Australia, the telco reported NBN migrant revenue of A$7 million (S$6.7 million), “significantly lower” than the A$72 million posted in the same period a year ago, as migrations are near completion.

The group’s enterprise segment reported a 3.1 per cent fall in operating revenue due to a decline in its legacy carriage business, partly mitigated by higher mobile service revenue.

Meanwhile, its ICT revenue was stable as higher data centre and cyber-security services were offset by fewer ICT deals compared to the same quarter last year.

The telco also noted that post-tax contributions from its regional associates was up 13 per cent to $332 million, from $294 million a year ago.

This was boosted by a profit turnaround at Airtel, which saw strong operating momentum in India and Africa, although partially offset by weaker performance in Indonesia’s Telkomsel and the Philippines’ Globe Telecom.

Singtel’s group chief executive Yuen Kuan Moon noted that the company has been focusing on expanding its 5G operations and building new businesses across Asia in areas including digital banking and data centres.

“Underpinning these investments is an active programme to recycle capital and crystallise value from our existing assets, allowing us to build out growth drivers for the future and deliver a sustainable dividend to shareholders,” Mr Yuen said.

Singtel shares closed flat at $2.55 on Monday.

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