StarHub, Singapore’s second largest mobile operator, suffered a weak start to the year, with profit, revenue, ARPU and subscribers all dropping in Q1, and a decline in service revenue forecast for the full year.
The company’s net profit for the first quarter decreased 13.1 per cent year-on-year to SGD62.8 million ($47.2 million), with total revenue down 4.7 per cent to SGD561 million.
A 1.4 per cent drop in service revenue to SGD450.8 million was driven by a 7.1 per cent decline in mobile revenue to SGD205 million and a 10 per cent fall in IPTV revenue to SGD80.7 million. Equipment sales decreased 16.3 per cent to SGD110 million.
The operator attributed the mobile decline to lower IDD, voice and excess data usage revenue, a fall in plan subscription revenue driven by a higher mix of SIM-only plans and a drop in the subscriber base. It noted the fall was partially mitigated by higher revenue from roaming and value-added services.
Its prepaid customer base increased by 20,000 to 918,000, while the postpaid customer base dropped by 27,000 to 1.37 million, mainly due to the one-time termination of 23,000 inactive legacy data-only lines in Q3 2017.
Comparing with a year ago, both prepaid and postpaid ARPU fell by SGD2 to SGD13 and SGD43 respectively.
StarHub expects service revenue for the full year to fall 1 per cent to 3 per cent year-on-year. Capex for 2018, excluding spectrum payments of SGD282 million and building payments of SGD31.6 million, is expected to be 11 per cent of total revenue.