Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SingTel Adds 244,000 Mobile Subscribers, Market Penetration at 129%

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) announced a double-digit growth in net profit and double digit growth in revenue for its fourth quarter ended 31 March 2008, driven by its Singapore business, which posted another record number of mobile net additions, and the strengthening of the Australian dollar. Group revenue in the three months ended 31 March 2008 increased 11 per cent to S$3.76 billion from S$3.38 billion a year ago. Underlying net profit for the quarter posted a 9.2 per cent gain to S$968 million from S$886 million, helped by a strong performance from the regional mobile associates.

Some operational highlights:

  • In Singapore revenue from Data & Internet grew 12 per cent to S$356 million in the fourth quarter driven mainly by strong corporate data and broadband growth.

  • For the quarter, SingTel added 19,000 broadband customers and retained its leadership position with 54.3 per cent market share.

  • SingTel's Wireless@SG also attracted 496,000 customers since its introduction of which 203,000 do not subscribe to SingNet's residential broadband service.

  • Mobile Communications posted another strong quarter with revenue increasing 15 per cent to S$339 million from a year ago. In a market with a penetration level of 129 per cent, SingTel added a record 244,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter. This brings SingTel's total number of users to 2.57 million with a market share of 43.4 per cent.

  • SingTel added 207,000 prepaid customers to 1.19 million users and 37,000 postpaid users as at 31 March 2008.Average revenue per user rose 2 per cent for postpaid customers and 16 per cent for prepaid customers from a year ago.

  • During the next fiscal year, capital expenditure in Singapore as a percentage of operating revenue is expected to rise to mid-teens level because of mobile capacity expansion and an upgrade of the fixed-line network.

  • In Australia, Optus achieved a 4.5 per cent increase in revenue to A$1.94 billion despite the ACCC's mandated reduction in mobile termination rates by 25 per cent to 9 cents per minute from 1 July 2007 and Optus' decision to exit the unprofitable consumer fixed-line resale market.

  • Optus Mobile operating revenue grew 6.5 per cent to A$1.09 billion with 135,000 new subscribers added in the quarter, including 87,000 postpaid additions, taking the total number of mobile customers to 7.14 million. 3G customer numbers increased 21 per cent from a quarter ago to 1.4 million.

  • Mobile EBITDA margin was 35 per cent, declining 4 percentage points from a year ago reflecting acquisition and retention costs to grow the postpaid segment.

  • SMS and other data revenue were at 29 per cent of ARPU, up from 26 per cent a year ago with stimulation of SMS and increased take-up of data services. The proportion of non-SMS data revenue grew to 6.0 per cent of ARPU in the current quarter compared to 4.2 per cent a year ago.

  • On 7 May 2008, Optus announced it would embark on a further investment program to expand its nationwide mobile network beyond 96 per cent population coverage to reach 98 per cent by December 2009.

  • The 3G network provided coverage to 68 per cent of the population as at 31 March 2008.

  • During the quarter, Optus Consumer and SMB Fixed saw continued Unbundled Local Loop (ULL) growth, with 317,000 customers provisioned with telephony and/or broadband services.

  • As at 31 March 2008, Optus had installed equipment in 357 ULL exchanges. The ULL build will comprise a total of 366 exchanges with a coverage footprint of 2.9 million premises.