Tuesday, 14 May 2013

SingTel’s Q4 profit falls 33% to $868mil on stake sale, taxes

Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia’s biggest phone company, reported fourth-quarter profit fell 33% after taking a loss on a stake sale and paying higher taxes.

Net income declined to $868 million in the three months ended March from $1.29 billion a year earlier, Singapore-based SingTel said in a statement today. Sales fell 6.3% to $4.5 billion.
Higher earnings from SingTel’s affiliates in Indonesia and Thailand limited the impact of a falling contribution from Bharti Airtel in India, which posted a 49% drop in profit on higher interest and network costs. The Singapore phone company expanded fourth-generation services in the city-state in April and its Optus unit bought airwaves in Australia last week as they expand mobile networks to compete better.

The company said revenue this year will be little changed while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will rise by a “low single digit level”.

SingTel shares gained 1.8% to close at $3.99 in Singapore yesterday. The stock has climbed 21% this year, compared with a 8.4% advance in the benchmark Straits Times Index.

SingTel in March completed the sale of its 30% stake in Warid Telecom (Private) for US$150 million ($186 million) and will receive a 7.5% share of the net proceeds from any future sale, public offering or merger. It took a loss of $225 million from the deal.

The company had a one-time tax credit of $270 million last year from recognising an increase in the value of an asset transferred to an associate.

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