Singapore. South-East Asia’s biggest phone company, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel), on Thursday said net profit for its second quarter dropped 1.2 per cent year-on-year on lower earnings from its associates in other countries.
Net profit for the three months through September reached 882 million Singapore dollars (684 million US dollars), down from 892 million Singapore dollars a year ago, SingTel said in a statement.
SingTel holds significant stakes in mobile operators in eight countries across the region – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Quarterly pre-tax earnings from all mobile associates fell 12 per cent year-on-year to 471 million Singapore dollars on weaker regional currencies and losses from the African operations of Bharti Airtel Ltd, its Indian associate.
The contribution to the group’s net profit from Bharti, in which SingTel holds a 32.2-per-cent stake, fell 37 per cent to 131 million Singapore dollars.
The company’s strong earnings were offset by acquisition financing costs and a fall in local currencies from its Airtel Africa operations.
Group chief executive Chua Sock Koong warned of headwinds from the sluggish world economy.
“The global economy is slowing and there is still much uncertainty surrounding the economies in the eurozone,” she said.
SingTel said group revenue in the quarter through September climbed 3.9 per cent to 4.61 billion Singapore dollars, up from 4.43 billion Singapore dollars posted a year ago.
The company earlier said its global mobile customer base had expanded by 15 per cent, or 56 million, in the past year, reaching nearly 424 million as of September 30.