SingTel Fourth Quarter Profit Falls 33%

Sharon Lorimer

Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's largest telecommunications operator, posted on Wednesday a 33 percent fall in fourth quarter net profit, hurt by a one-time loss arising from the sale of its stake in Pakistan's Warid.

SingTel, Singapore's largest company by market capitalization, earned S$868 million ($698.42 million) in the three months ended March, down from S$1.29 billion a year ago.

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The Singapore telco's underlying net profit -- which excludes one-off items -- dipped 2 percent to S$1 billion from S$1.02 billion a year ago.

Despite the weaker result, SingTel said it will pay a final dividend of 10 Singapore cents a share, up from 9.0 Singapore cents a year ago.

Looking ahead, Singapore said it expects consolidated revenue to be stable in the current financial year ending March 2014.

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"Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), however, is expected to grow by low single-digit level, led by productivity and yield management initiatives," it said.

SingTel reported S$225 million of divestment loss from Warid which was partly offset by S$149 million of net dividend income from Southern Cross.

SingTel had a non-recurring tax credit of S$270 million in the year-ago quarter.