GO
Loading...

SingTel's Fourth-Quarter Net Profit Slips 41%

Reuters
Tuesday, 8 May 2007 | 9:27 PM ET

Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's largest phone company, posted a 41% drop in quarterly profit after its results in the year ago period were boosted by one-off gains,
but still beat market expectations.

Fourth-quarter attributable net profit was at S$989 million (US$653 million) versus S$1.68 billion last year, bringing full-year 2006/07 net profit to S$3.78 billion.

The quarterly net profit was above an average net profit forecast of S$904 million by 17 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.

SingTel Q4 Results
SingTel's net profit results came in better than expected. CNBC's Saijal Patel has the details.

State-controlled SingTel -- Singapore's largest listed firm, headed by new chief executive Chua Sock Koong -- made underlying net profit before goodwill and exceptionals of S$971 million in January-March, versus S$1 billion a year ago.

"We are balancing our objective for an efficient balance sheet with financial flexibility to make further investments", Chua said in a statement. The company said it hoped to achieve double-digit underlying earnings growth over the medium term.
The company also proposed to return S$3.3 billion in capital to shareholders via a dividend payment of 20.5 Singapore cents per share.

Battling heavy competition and a mobile phone penetration rate of 100% in its tiny home market of 4.5 million people, SingTel has spent about S$20 billion in recent years buying firms in high-growth Asian countries and in the bigger Australian market.

SingTel owns 21.5% of Thailand's Advanced Info Service, 30.8% of India's Bharti Group, 44.6% of Globe Telecom in the Philippines, 35% of Indonesia's PT Telkomsel and 45% of Pacific Bangladesh Telecom.

In Australia, where its Optus business faces fierce competition, quarterly net profit rose 11% year-on-year to A$155 million (US$128 million).

SingTel shares were flat in January-March, underperforming an 8.2% rise in the Straits Times Index.

Featured

Contact U.S. News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Don't Miss

U.S. Video

  • Mad Money's Jim Cramer discusses Micron Technology and how the company gained control over inventory issues. The bears expect the company's history to repeat itself, but Cramer says this time, it feels different.

  • In this excerpt from a live CNBC interview, Warren Buffett explains why it's extremely unusual for a company's directors to vote against executive compensation plans.

  • Mad Money host Jim Cramer says shareholder activism works for every shareholder, and offers his take on the Valeant/Bill Ackman bid to acquire Allergan. The market is better off for these efforts, he says.