Singtel pay TV revenues fall, but cushioned by cost savings

Singapore-based telco Singtel saw pay TV revenues fall from S$273.9 million to S$218 million in the first quarter, contributing to an overall reported drop in operating revenue.

Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO

Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel Group CEO

Singtel saw its operating revenues drop from S$15.339 billion to S$14.464 billion, with drops infocomm technology, fixed voice and data, digital business and internet revenues – as well as pay TV – more than offsetting a modest uplift in mobile revenues.

The drop in operating revenue was in part due to the strength of the Singapore dollar relative to Australian dollar. In constant currency terms, revenue was down 1.7% and ICT revenue did not drop, the operator said.

Singtel said that overall revenue was also lower due to the completion of the National Broadband Network (NBN) migration in Australia and the sale of a digital marketing subsidiary Amobee.

It said that excluding these two factors and the depreciation of the Australian dollar depreciation, operating revenue would  have risen 5%.

Regarding its Singapore consumer operations, Singtel said that pay TV revenue fell but noted that the decline was more than offset by cost savings. Overall, Singapore consumer revenue rose by 3% thanks to a boost from mobile.

In Australia, where Singtel owns Optus, the latter’s operating revenues were up 3% thanks to a 425,000 subscriber uplift in the mobile base.

Singtel’s net profit for the full year was up 14% to S$2.23 billion as its core businesses performed strongly, underpinned by robust mobile growth and price uplifts as international travel and roaming recovered, rising 5G adoption and an increase in demand for ICT services.

“Our solid financial performance in the second year of our strategic reset reflects the tangible progress we have made against our business priorities in spite of the uncertain macroeconomic environment. Our 5G leadership, differentiated product offerings, roaming recovery and focus on cost is reinvigorating the core businesses which saw a 15% increase in EBIT. Optus produced a strong result and recovered well from last year’s cyber attack,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, CEO.

“In our growth engines, our regional data centre business expanded its footprint to Indonesia and Thailand with new projects that will more than double our capacity in the next three years. NCS’ inroads into Australia and the enterprise space have allowed us to diversify our ICT business geographically and across customer segments. Our capital recycling programme continued to unlock value this year with more than S$2.8 billion raised largely from Airtel, allowing us to strengthen our balance sheet and deliver greater returns for shareholders.”

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