Asian operator Singtel posted steady gains in profit and revenue for its fiscal year ending 31 March, with strong mobile growth from its Australian unit Optus offsetting slowing growth in Singapore mobile revenue.
The operator’s full year net profit rose 3.5 per cent to SGD3.78 billion ($2.83 billion), with strong contributions from Airtel India and Globe Telecom. Singtel said in constant currency terms its net was up 6.2 per cent.
Overall operating revenue rose 2.2 per cent to SGD17.22 billion. Its consumer group saw sales increase 1.4 per cent to SGD10.5 billion, while enterprise revenue grew 2.1 per cent to SGD6.24 billion.
Consumer revenue in its home market of Singapore expanded 6.1 per cent to SGD2.43 billion, with equipment sales rising sharply as re-contracting activities rose and demand for data continued to climb. Mobile revenue was up just 1.8 per cent to SGD1.09 billion. Mobile data accounted for 47 per cent of revenue, up from 43 per cent a year ago.
Its Singapore prepaid subscriber base rose 3 per cent to 2.26 million and its prepaid base increased 2.1 per cent to 1.82 million. Blended ARPU fell 2 per cent to SGD49.
Its Australian consumer business also experienced steady growth, with revenue up 4.7 per cent to AUD7.23 billion ($5.67 billion). Mobile revenue expanded 6.8 per cent to AUD5.7 billion.
The company said the increase was driven mainly by rising mobile ARPU and a higher postpaid handset customer base. Operating expenses increased 4.9 per cent, which was mainly from higher cost of sales (up 20 per cent) and higher staff costs from the transition to Optus owned stores.
Data services (Australia) now account for 67 per cent of revenue. It mobile user base was steady last year at 9.4 million and ARPU rose 3.6 per cent to AUD42.00.
Singtel’s digital life group expanded revenue 139 per cent to SGD343 million.
The group’s operating expenses increased 4.1 per cent to SGD12.28 billion, with the cost of sales rising 10 per cent to SGD2.9 billion. The share of its associate operators’ post-tax profit was 20 per cent. The company’s capex rose 6.5 per cent to SGD2.23 billion. As a percentage of revenue it inched up to 13 per cent from 12 per cent a year ago.
Its EBITDA margin dropped 1 point to 29.6 per cent.
Looking ahead, Singtel expects consolidated revenue to increase “by mid single digit level” for the year ending 31 March 2016. EBITDA is expected to grow at “low single digit level.”