A fall in turnover in hotly contested consumer segments took a chunk out of StarHub's first-quarter earnings, it reported yesterday.
But the telco has shed more light on its mobile virtual network operator strategy, with fibre broadband company MyRepublic unveiled as its first partner. Listed rivals M1 and Singtel already have network leasing arrangements.
Net profit slid to $61.5 million for the three months to March 31, marking a 14.9 per cent drop from the previous year. Turnover was 4.7 per cent lower at $561 million.
The slump in mobile and pay-TV service revenues, as well as reduced turnover from equipment sales, could not be offset by enterprise fixed service gains.
StarHub called the enterprise fixed segment "a constant bright spot, with a third successive quarter of double-digit revenue growth".
Its performance was lifted on consolidation of the Accel Systems & Technologies and D'Crypt cyber security acquisitions.
AT A GLANCE
REVENUE: $561 million (-4.7%)
NET PROFIT: $61.5 million (-14.9%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 4 cents (unchanged)
"In line with our plan to grow the business, we will continue to roll out new robotics, digital platforms and cyber security solutions to support Singapore's Smart Nation vision," the company said.
StarHub stuck to its previously stated guidance that forecast a 1 per cent to 3 per cent year-on-year slide in service revenue for this year.
Earnings per share fell to 3.4 cents for the quarter, from 4.2 cents a year earlier. A dividend of four cents a share will be paid on May 25.
It said that "we also anticipate competition to intensify" in the mobile business, in part due to the impending arrival of Australia's TPG Telecom.
In line with our plan to grow the business, we will continue to roll out new robotics, digital platforms and cyber security solutions to support Singapore's Smart Nation vision.
The Singapore telco market is "small" and "fragmented", chief marketing officer Howie Lau told an earnings briefing, adding that MyRepublic's go-to market strategy is "very complementary to ours".
BMI Research analyst Kenny Liew said he believe StarHub will benefit from its tie-up with MyRepublic.
MyRepublic Singapore managing director Yap Yong Teck said in a separate statement that it will continue to focus on "Singapore's younger, more tech-savvy crowd" as it expands its mobile operations.
MyRepublic, which wants a public listing by the year end, has twice pushed back its mobile service launch since losing the auction that would have let it participate as a full telco.
StarHub shares closed up three cents to $2.31 before results were announced.