Singapore—The annual report of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), was published on July 26, Wednesday. It showed that the company suffered a 44 percent drop in net profit for 2018, capping what it called “a perfect storm.”
SingTel’s Chief Executive Officer Chua Sock Koong’s income also took a dive of 43.1 percent from the year before. In 2017 she took home a cool S$6.1 million, while last year she earned S$3.5 million, which included the following benefits and bonuses: club membership, car benefits, and medical coverage, among others.
However, for the 2017/2018 financial year, Ms Chua’s variable bonus was almost S$4.4 million.
For this year, her fixed remuneration was at S$1.6 million, while her variable bonus and other benefits amounted to of S$3,537,301.
In her address to shareholders in the annual report, Ms Chua said, that the past year was “far from business as usual. Competition intensified across virtually all our markets as operators jostled for market share while advances in technology continued to disrupt the telco industry, putting more pressure on prices and return on investment.”
The company’s annual report says that this amount does not yet include performance shares and share option expenses.
In May, SingTel reported a net profit of S$3.1 billion for the 12 months that ended in March. This is the least annual net profit the company has made in 16 years and is around 44 percent lower than the S$5.5 billion earned in 2017.
According to Simon Israel, the Chairman of SingTel, the last fiscal year was a “perfect storm with intensifying competition across all markets, particularly India and Indonesia, plus the added backdrop of heightened economic uncertainty.”
Trutswave, the company’s cybersecurity business, reported a loss of S$102 million before interest and tax for the financial year. Its Digital Life division also suffered losses. Amobee lost S$42 million before taxes.
But Ms Chua has expressed confidence in Amobee and Trustwave in the annual report, as did Mr Israel, who said, “Part of our digital transformation involved making calculated investments in new businesses that would thrive in the future economy.”
Ms Chua wrote, “As governments race to build smart cities and enterprises future-proof their operations, we will leverage this rising tide of digitalisation to drive growth in our ICT and digital businesses.”
According to Group Digital Life CEO Samba Nataraja, “As we continue to build operating momentum, we are turning our attention towards value realisation for these businesses.
In addition to acquisitions and organic growth, we are also looking at other investment strategies in which we identify and invest in emerging growth companies through Innov8, especially those that are filling the gaps left by traditional infrastructure or are disrupting and improving service delivery through their digital solutions.”
The top five management of SingTel earned S$10.7 million in total last year. The highest earner among them is Allen Lew, the CEO of Consumer Australia. He brought home S$3,457,494 in total cash and benefits, an amount almost at par with Ms Chua. In the previous year, he earned over $S 5 million.
While the company’s operating revenue stood at S$17.4 billion last year, a tad higher than from S$17.3 billion the year before, the net profit for 2017/2017 was S$3.6 billion, while in 2018/2019 it was S$2.8 billion./ TISG