News From Telecom World

SingTel Earnings Hit by Currency Changes – Seeking Aquisitions in 2009

Posted on: May 25, 2009

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has reported that its fourth fiscal (1st calendar) quarter’s underlying net profit fell 0.9 percent to S$959 million (US$657 million) from a year ago impacted by the weak Australian dollar and major regional currencies.

For the full year, the Group’s operating revenue was stable at S$14.93 billion (US$10.2 billion). The strong Singapore dollar impacted the Group’s full year results.

While revenue in local currency terms increased 8.7 per cent in Australia and 13 per cent in Singapore, the Group’s operating revenue in the quarter fell 5.1 per cent to S$3.57 billion as a result of the steep 21 per cent decline in the Australian dollar against the Singapore dollar from a year ago. Group revenue would have gained 10 per cent with operational EBITDA increasing 13 per cent in constant currency terms if the Australian dollar had remained constant against the Singapore dollar from the correspondent quarter last year.

The Group recorded goodwill impairment charges of S$330 million (US$226 million) for Pakistan’s Warid Telecom and Bangladesh’s CityCell, that were partially offset by an exceptional gain of S$217 (US$149 million) million from Bharti’s dilution of its equity interest in a subsidiary.

Ms Chua Sock Koong, SingTel Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “This quarter, Australia and Singapore continued their strong momentum and showed resilience with their impressive revenue and earnings growth despite the economic uncertainties. Earnings from Optus and the associates were impacted by the strong Singapore dollar but Telkomsel showed signs of improving its market share and Bharti continued to perform well.”

Ms Chua added: “SingTel continues to look for new investments in Asia and emerging adjacent markets and will be financially disciplined in its evaluation of these opportunities.”

Source: cellular news

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