Singapore’s M1 reported its Q3 net profit increased 12.7 per cent to SGD44.5 million ($34.8 million) despite an almost 1 per cent drop in service revenue and no growth in mobile revenue during the quarter.
For the first nine months of the year, net profit increased 9.7 per cent to SGD131.2 million. EBITDA rose 6.7 per cent to SGD84 million during the same period.
Mobile data now accounts for 34.5 per cent of total service revenue, which was up 1 per cent year-on-year to SGD619.8 million for the first three quarters of 2014. Mobile services revenue increased 3.7 per cent to SGD499 million.
Fixed services posted a surprising rebound of 13 per cent, with revenue reaching SGD51 million during the first nine months.
Handset sales were up 19 per cent quarter-on-quarter, but decreased 6 per cent to SGD100 million during the first three quarters. International call revenue fell 9 per cent in the quarter (and was down 20 per cent in the year to 30 September).
Overall sales costs in Q3 fell 2.3 per cent to SGD95 million, but handset costs were up 6.6 per cent. Other operating expenses rose 3.3 per cent to SGD102 million.
At the end of September, M1 had 1.9 million mobile customers. Its postpaid customer base was up 22,000 year-on-year while its prepaid numbers have been in steady decline over the past five quarters, dropping to about 750,000 from more than a million in Q3 2013. The decline is due to regulations reducing the number of prepaid SIM cards per subscriber.
The country’s number three player had a 24 per cent market share, down almost 2 percentage points from a year ago.
Postpaid ARPU was steady at SGD61.8 ($48) in Q3 and postpaid revenue was up 5 per cent to SGD147 million. The acquisition cost per postpaid customer jumped 13 per cent to SGD369. Prepaid ARPU rose 7 per cent to SGD15.7, but prepaid revenue fell almost 9 per cent to SGD20 million.
During Q3 its fibre customer base increased by 21,000 connections to 98,000.
M1’s network investment dropped, with CAPEX decreasing 13.3 per cent to SGD39 million in Q3, but it was up 26.5 per cent for the first nine months of the year.
Its Q3 EBITDA margin increased to 40.8 per cent from 37.7 per cent a year ago and its profit margin rose to 21.5 per cent from 19.2 per in 2013.