Cost savings deliver for StarHub - Mobile World Live

Cost savings deliver for StarHub

21 FEB 2020

Singapore operator StarHub hailed a steadying of its consumer business during Q4 2019, as it posted a sharp jump in profit despite continued weakness at its mobile business due to ARPU decline.

In its earnings statement, StarHub CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said the operator fended off “ever increasing competition” to record sequential gains in its consumer business “for the first time following years of decline”.

“Meanwhile, our enterprise business continues to register double-digit growth.”

He added the company is in a stronger position to invest in growth and diversify its business, including a 5G network and pursuing new M&A opportunities for inorganic expansion.

Net profit jumped 75.8 per cent year-on-year to SGD34.9 million ($24.9 million), attributed mainly to a SGD26.3 million reduction in operating expenses.

Total revenue dipped 1.8 per cent to SGD608 million, with strength in its enterprise business nearly offsetting declines in mobile, pay-TV and broadband.

Falling ARPU
Mobile service revenue slid 1.8 per cent to SGD191 million, with post-paid ARPU falling 8.6 per cent to SGD40 and prepaid stable at SGD13.

Pay-TV turnover decreased 20.8 per cent to SGD56.5 million, broadband fell 10.2 per cent to SGD41 million, and enterprise rose 6.3 per cent to SGD155.3 million, driven by a 37.3 per cent surge in cybersecurity services sales to SGD44.4 million.

Its post-paid subscriber base grew 3.5 per cent to 1.45 million, while prepaid fell 1.4 per cent to 778,000, which it said was due to a trend to switch to SIM-only post-paid plans.

Average monthly data usage rose to 9.5GB from 6.1GB at end-2018.

Annual capex declined 13.2 per cent to SGD175 million, representing 7.5 per cent of total revenue.

For 2020, the operator expects service revenue to rise by 1 per cent to 3 per cent, driven by higher contributions from the cybersecurity business, but offset by lower mobile and pay-TV revenue. Capex-to-revenue ratio is forecast to decline between 6 per cent and 7 per cent.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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