Singtel throws out a mixed bag for its latest quarterly results

Revenues up and profits down. Some regions did well and some did bad. The consumer business declined and Digital Life jumped up. A real mixed bag for Singtel.

Group revenues were reported at roughly $3.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.6%, while profits for the quarter stood at $668 million, a decline of 9%. The domestic market demonstrated a slight decline while the Australian business posted its highest ever quarterly postpaid customer growth, but the regional businesses didn’t really pack a punch. On a positive note, the digital business units are performing well and the team is actually spending money on the network.

“We see our investments in network infrastructure and spectrum as critical to our future growth and longer term returns in this digital world,” said Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO. “Already, our transformation strategy is delivering with digital and ICT services accounting for 23% of our revenue this quarter.

“In our core business, the digitalisation of our services across the Group has enabled us to deliver better customer experience and manage costs. The Australia business, particularly mobile, drove profitable growth. We will strive to provide more value to our customers by anticipating their needs and staying ahead of the competition.”

Looking at the regional businesses, Singtel’s share in Bharti Airtel might be causing a few headaches. It was only a couple of days ago the team announced it was increasing its stake to 39.5% and the African business does seem to be repaying this faith. Unfortunately, heating competition in India, where the majority of the business is, is continuing to weigh heavy on the market incumbent.

Elsewhere, Telkomsel’s earnings fell in Indonesia, while Globe’s earnings in the Philippines were affected by higher depreciation and finance costs on network investments. Not exactly living the dream.

On the more positive side of things, Group Digital Life revenue jumped 106% as the content and technology business is proving a smart bet. A real mixed bag from the Singtel team.

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