StarHub in talks with Netflix, exploring partnership

StarHub is in talks with popular content streaming company Netflix.
StarHub is in talks with popular content streaming company Netflix.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - StarHub, the second largest telco here, is in talks with popular content streaming company Netflix, the telco said, during its third quarter earnings briefing over conference call on Friday.

"We are excited to be exploring the partnership with Netflix," said StarHub chief marketing officer Howie Lau.

However, he added : "Discussions right now are in a commercial stage, so we are not able to share too much details."

Netflix has announced that it will launch its Internet streaming service in Singapore early next year. For a monthly fee, reported to be likely around $11, users can watch a selection of popular TV shows and movies on any device, such as a television or smartphone, laptop or tablet.

For the three months ended Sept 30, the telco booked a net profit of $118.7 million, up 21.5 per cent compared with the same period in the previous year.

Higher equipment sales and a one-time gain from the deconsolidation of a subsidiary had boosted earnings of telco StarHub in the third quarter.

Total revenue climbed 1.9 per cent to $603.1 million during the quarter, on stronger equipment sales, which grew 14.4 per cent to $44.9 million.

Service revenue rose one per cent to $558 million in the three months ended Sept 30, mainly driven by the increase in broadband and fixed network services revenues, the telco said.

Fixed network services revenue climbed 4.3 per cent to $99.3 million, while broadband turover grew 3.8 per cent to $51.1 million.

StarHub chief executive officer Tan Tong Hai said: "We are pleased with our overall performance this quarter. Net profits from operations increased by 6.5%, with continued revenue growth in our post-paid mobile, residential broadband and fixed network services. This is the third consecutive quarter that we have seen growth in our residential broadband revenue."

Earnings per share for the third quarter were 6.9 cents, compared with 5.7 cents a year earlier.

Net asset value per share was 11 cents on Sept 30, compared with 8.6 cents as at Dec 31.

StarHub declared an interim dividend of five cents a share, which will be paid on Nov 27.

The telco said based on the current outlook, it expects service revenue to be maintained at about the level of 2014, and group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin is expected to be about 32 per cent on service revenue.