StarHub endured another steep drop in quarterly earnings, with second-quarter net profit skidding by 22.8 per cent to $61.7 million for the three months to June 30.
This was despite turnover growing by 5.4 per cent to $597.3 million on a jump in equipment sales as more premium handsets and smart home apparatus were moved.
Still, service revenue - which does not count the sale of equipment - inched up by just 0.7 per cent, to $466.8 million, no thanks to the fall in turnover from the linchpin mobile service business.
Declines in mobile and pay-television revenue and flat broadband revenue were offset by the growth in the enterprise fixed segment, which was also boosted by contributions from the consolidation of cyber security acquisitions Accel Systems & Technologies and D'Crypt.
Yet the increase in turnover failed to lift the bottom line. StarHub noted in its financial statements: "Although the decline in mobile revenue was offset by higher revenues from managed services and the sales of equipment, the margins from these businesses were lower compared to the margin from the mobile business."
Second-quarter earnings per share slipped to 3.5 Singapore cents from 4.6 cents a year ago, while net asset value was 33.6 cents a share against 34.8 cents as at Dec 31, 2017.
Net profit tumbled by 19.9 per cent for the half-year, to $124.7 million, as revenue edged up by 0.1 per cent to $1.16 billion.
REVENUE: $597.3 million (+5.4%)
NET PROFIT: $61.7 million (-22.8%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 4 cents (unchanged)
"For H1 2018, the group's service revenue was lower by 0.6 per cent year on year," StarHub noted, with six-month service turnover coming in at $915.3 million. "This was within our guidance of full-year service revenue to be 1 per cent to 3 per cent lower year on year."
Post-paid mobile average revenue per user (ARPU) was $45 in the second quarter, up from $43 in the three months prior, but still lower than the $49 in the same period the year before.
Meanwhile, pay-TV ARPU was up to $53 from $51 in both the previous quarter and the year-ago period, which StarHub attributed to World Cup subscriptions. There were 438,000 households subscribed, on a quarterly churn of 11,000 households.
The board recommended an unchanged interim dividend of four cents a share.