Singapore: South-East Asia’s largest telephone firm, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), said third quarter (Q3) profit rose 22% after one-time gains, as earnings from India and Indonesia soared.
Underlying profit jumped to S$931 million (Rs2,597 crore), or 5.86 cents a share, in the three months ended 31 December, from S$765 million, or 4.82 cents, a year earlier, SingTel said in a statement on Tuesday. Sales gained 11% to S$3.83 billion.
Chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong benefited from a 15-year strategy by her predecessor to invest in developing economies, as growth slowed in Singapore and Australia, the firm’s biggest market. Indian affiliate Bharti Airtel Ltd reported record net income, while PT Telekomunikasi Selular accounted for more than one-fifth of SingTel’s Q3 profit.
“What SingTel has going for it is experience,” said Bruno Lippens, who manages about $7 billion (Rs27,580 crore) in telecom stocks, including SingTel shares, at private bankers Pictet and Cie.
“It’s built up a track record and credibility and this gives it an edge over some competitors.” Lippens made the comments before earnings were reported.
Net income dropped to S$952 million from S$994 million a year earlier, because of a currency loss and absence of a one-time gain.