Singapore-based Singtel was dragged down by exceptional items and the lower value of the Australian dollar in its fiscal Q1 2023/2024 (to end-June) despite gains in mobile across its two main markets and regional associates.

Group CEO Yuen Yuan Moon used earnings documents to note higher competition and ongoing drops in Singtel’s legacy services impacted its core business, though it registered higher contributions from its regional associates as market dynamics improved.

He added Singtel’s growth engines, its ICT arm NCS and recently formed Digital InfraCo, “executed well, roaming recovery stayed strong across our consumer and enterprise businesses, and we’ve lowered net finance expenses significantly”.

Net profit declined 23.1 per cent year-on-year to SGD483 million ($355.5 million) due to an exceptional loss of SGD88 million compared with a one-off gain of SGD129 million in fiscal Q1 2022/2023.

Excluding one-off factors, net profit was up 15 per cent to SGD571 million, lifted by a 54.3 per cent cut in net finance costs and increased income from its regional associates, mainly Bharti Airtel, AIS and Intouch.

The units’ profit grew 3.7 per cent to SGD426 million.

Operating revenue fell 2.7 per cent to SGD3.5 billion, attributed mostly to a 9 per cent decline in the value of the Australian dollar.

Mobile service revenue in Singapore rose 2.7 per cent to SGD317 million, partly offsetting declines in international data, pay-TV and voice.

Prepaid subscribers rose 9.2 per cent to 1.4 million and post-paid 2.6 per cent to 2.9 million.

Average data consumption per month increased 7.8 per cent to 10GB.

Australian unit Optus posted 2.7 per cent growth in mobile service revenue to AUD961 million ($614.7 million).

Prepaid subscribers grew 7.7 per cent to 3.4 million and post-paid 1.4 per cent to 6 million.

Average monthly data usage grew 22.8 per cent to SG17GB.