SingTel boosts net 24% on currency gain

SingTel, southeast Asia’s biggest carrier, has boosted income 24%, thanks to a stronger Australian dollar and higher contributions from its Indonesia and India operations.
The company announced Tuesday a December quarter profit of S$991 million (€509.5 million) on the back of 20% higher revenue of S$4.45 billion.
Excluding the 27% appreciation of the Australian dollar, revenue would have increased just 3%.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected a result of S$948 million.
Pre-tax contribution from the regional mobile associates increased 22% to S$592
million, thanks primarily to Indonesian cellco Telkomsel and some gains on foreign currency liabilities.
CEO Chua Sock Koong said the Singapore and Australia businesses “stood out for their exceptional performance in mobile.”
“Across Singapore, Australia and the associates, we are focused on execution and delivering to exceed customer expectations.”
In the carrier’s home market, revenue grew 1.5% to S$1.53 billion. The mobile group posted the highest sales, up 8.9% to S$406 million, with 81,000 net adds,
Mobile data services accounted for 35% of ARPU, up 32%, while data sales were flat, with lower leased line prices offsetting higher demand for IP-VPN and managed services.
Australian subsidiary Optus grew mobile service revenue 11% and ebitda 5.3%. It boosted operating revenue by 4.8% to A$2.3 billion (€1.46 billion) and ebitda 3.6 % to A$529 million.
SingTel’s regional mobile customer base was 285 million at 31 December, up 23% from a year earlier.