International Business & Economy Singtel sees worst quarter in 15 years

Singtel sees worst quarter in 15 years

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Earnings for local telco Singtel dipped by 77 percent to $667 million for the third quarter of the year, according to a report from the Singtel Group. This makes it the worst quarter in the last 15 years.

In the previous quarter, the telco reported a $48 million loss due to staff restructuring.

The losses are due to lessened contributions from associate firms, the movements of foreign currency, as well as the stopping of Australia’s broadband roll-out.

These losses are in sharp contrast to 2017 when the company saw a gain of $1.94 billion from sales of NetLink Trust units. However, should one-off or exceptional gains be removed, Singtel’s net profit actually decreased by 22 percent to $ 715 million.

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Revenue, which the company said would have increased by 3.9 percent in constant currency terms, remained flat at $4.27 billion. Losses $34 million before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization were also seen by its digital life segment. For Amobee, the company’s digital marketing unit, single-digit growth is now predicted, as opposed to mid-teens announced six months ago.

The company’s consumer segment in Singapore, however, saw increases in operating revenue by 4.8 percent to $555 million, due to higher equipment sales in launches of premium handsets.

Prior to interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, earnings have lessened by 7.4 percent to $180 million. This is because of the absence of Singtel TV sub-licence revenue for the Premier League, as well as smaller contributions from higher-margin legacy carriage services.

Another factor that the company is getting ready for is the entry of TPG Telecom, an Australian firm, into the telco market.

Read related: There’s room for a fourth telco, but Singtel, StarHub and M1 must keep innovating to stay in the game

According to Singtel’s group chief digital officer and chief executive for the Singapore consumer business, Yuen Kuan Moon, “We hold our position that (having) three operators is sufficient for Singapore … but we have to face a fourth operator. Our focus will always be on the customers and it continues to be even more important in the face of the competition.”

After the announcement was made, shares for the company fell by 1.91 percent to $3.08.

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