Singapore’s SingTel, the largest mobile firm in Asia-Pacific outside of China, has reported a 16.1 percent fall in net profit for its fiscal third-quarter as a result of unfavourable currency movements. Net profit for the quarter ending 31 December stood at SGD799 million (US$534 million), down from SGD952 million in the year earlier period, but beat an analysts poll conducted by Dow Jones Newswires. Operating revenue fell by 3.2 percent to SGD3.7 billion but would have risen by 14 percent if the Australian dollar – which dropped 23 percent against the Singapore dollar – had remained stable, SingTel said. The operator wholly-owns Optus, Australia’s second-largest mobile firm.
The firm reported strong operational performance at both Optus and its Singapore unit (SingTel), with both countries posting double-digit revenue growth. However, SingTel noted lower operational performance at its subsidiaries in Indonesia (Telkomsel), the Philippines (Globe) and Pakistan (Warid). “The global economic slowdown has started to impact the Group,” said Chua Sock Koong, SingTel’s CEO. The operator’s total customer base rose to 232.4 million by the end of the quarter, up 35 percent from a year earlier and up 7.3 percent sequentially.