Singtel recorded a continued recovery in its mobile businesses in Singapore and Australia in its fiscal Q3 (ending 31 December 2022), but one-off gains from an asset sale a year earlier hit its bottom-line.

In its earnings release, CEO Yuen Kuan Moon noted it was “a challenging quarter but we had distinct positives in the form of the strong roaming recovery” across its consumer, and enterprise businesses and a return to customer net adds in Australia.

Looking ahead, Yuen said the company is “keeping a tight rein” on business costs in the current inflationary environment, while balancing the need to invest in growth and innovation.

Mobile service revenue in Singapore increased 14.3 per cent year-on-year to SGD327 million ($246.5 million), with blended ARPU rising 12.5 per cent to SGD27, prepaid subscribers up 5 per cent to 1.4 million and post-paid subscribers 2.2 per cent higher at 2.9 million.

Singtel noted service revenue gains were partially offset by lower pay-TV and mobile equipment sales.

Average data usage per customer grew 17.5 per cent to 10GB.

Mobile service revenue at Optus rose 4.4 per cent to AUD963 million ($667.4 million), driven by gains in post-paid revenue attributed to recovery in international travel and price increases implemented earlier in the year.

Prepaid subscribers increased 9.9 per cent to 3.3 million and post-paid 1.6 per cent to 6 million.

Blended ARPU was flat at AUD31 and average data consumption rose 13.9 per cent to 15GB.

Group net profit fell 27.6 per cent to SGD532 million due to an exceptional gain from the partial divestment of assets in fiscal Q3 2021.

The after-tax contribution from its regional mobile units rose 22.6 per cent to SGD407 million, supported by strong growth momentum at Bharti Airtel in India, Yuen noted.

Operating revenue dropped 5.1 per cent to SGD3.7 billion, attributed to the absence of contributions from divested digital media subsidiary Amobee and an 8 per cent decline in the value of the Australian dollar.