Singapore’s StarHub reported a small increase in profit and revenue in Q3 as a rise in postpaid customers and stable mobile ARPU offset a sharp fall in broadband revenue.
The country’s second largest mobile player, with a 28 per cent market share, has lost about 100,000 customers since Q3 last year and now has 2.18 million subscribers. Its prepaid numbers were down by 200,000, but postpaid subs were up 103,000 to 1.25 million, accounting for 57 per cent of its customer base. The industry average for prepaid in Singapore is 46 per cent, but that is falling, according to GSMA Intelligence.
While total revenue inched up 2 per cent to SGD592 million (US$457 million), service revenue fell 1 per cent to SGD553 million. Mobile revenue increased 1 per cent to SGD311 million (accounting for 53 per cent of total company revenue), and revenue from its postpaid customer base grew 4 per cent. Pay-TV revenue was up 2 per cent to SGD97.4 million, fixed services rose 2.7 per cent to SGD95.2 million, but broadband fell 17 per cent to SGD49.2 million.
Sales of equipment, the other component of revenue, accounted for 6.6 per cent of total revenue – up from just 3.9 per cent a year ago. Operating expense rose 2 per cent to SGD258 million.
StarHub said its postpaid non-voice services (as a percentage of ARPU) increased to 53.2 per cent from 46.9 per cent a year ago. Postpaid churn dipped to 0.9 per cent from 1 per cent. Both prepaid (SGD18) and postpaid (SGD69) ARPU were fairly steady year-on-year.
Its pay-TV ARPU was also stable at SGD51. The company added 8,000 pay-TV connections and 16,000 broadband customers. But broadband ARPU decreased 18 per cent to SGD35.
The operator’s net profit rose 3 per cent to SGD98 million ($76.6 million) and its EBIDTA was up 2 per cent to SGD191 million. EBIDTA margin improved by almost 1 percentage point to 34.5 per cent.
Capex as a percentage of revenue declined from 14 per cent a year ago to 12 per cent.