Costs weigh down SingTel profit

Singaporean telco SingTel suffered a 9.6% drop in net profit in the December quarter to S$902 million (€542 million), despite a 2.7% increase in revenue.
The company blamed the decline on higher customer acquisition costs in Singapore, 3G rollout costs accrued by Bharti Airtel, and weaker contributions from the other regional mobile affiliates it owns stakes in.
All told, the contribution from SingTel's mobile affiliates – Airtel, Indonesia's Telkomsel, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Thai operator AIS, Bangladesh based Warid and Pakistan’s PBTL – declined 7.9% to S$449 million.
Separately, SingTel revealed its total customer base including its mobile affiliates increased 13% year-on-year to 433.5 million during the quarter.
Bharti Airtel's mobile customer base grew 17% to 233 million. At home, SingTel ended the year with 3.5 million mobile customers, while Optus' mobile subscribers grew 5% to 9.4 million.

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