M1 profit grows 10% despite slumping revenue

Singaporean operator MobileOne's (M1) Q1 profit grew more than 10% to S$41.9 million ($27.9 million), but the company has warned of a difficult year ahead.

"We expect operating conditions for the year to remain challenging in view of the continuing economic downturn," said M1 acting CEO Karen Kooi.

M1's operating revenue fell 8.6% to S$186.4 million, in what M1 said  was "an indication of the challenging operating environment."

Its customer base reached 1.62 million, a 4% year-on-year increase, but a 0.6% decrease over Q1 2008. EBITDA margin on service revenue grew to 44%.

Non-voice revenue as a percentage of overall service revenue grew two points year-on-year to 25.1%, while prepaid revenue reached 13% of mobile service revenue.

The company's market share fell slightly, with its postpaid market share falling to 26.8%, and its pre-paid market share falling to 23.9%. Postpaid ARPU fell more than S$5 to S$59.70, while prepaid ARPU fell slightly to $16.30.

M1 said it had maintained its guidance of stable operations for 2009, but did not give specific estimates.