Singtel Reports Profit Surge After Divestment of NetLink Trust

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (Z74.SG) reported Thursday a sharp jump in its fiscal second-quarter net profit, mainly due to the divestment of its broadband unit in an initial public offering.

Net profit in the July-September quarter was 2.89 billion Singapore dollars (US$2.12 billion, up from S$972.3 million in the same period of last year, Singtel said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.

The reported profit figure included one-time gains of S$1.93 billion, without which net profit would have been S$929 million, compared with S$969 million last year.

The profit contribution from Singtel's regional associates fell 7.2% on year to S$620 million, it said. Singtel, the biggest mobile-phone operator in Southeast Asia by subscribers, owns substantial equity stakes in several other operators, including companies in India, Thailand and Indonesia.

Revenue rose 6.9% to S$4.37 billion, Singtel said.

"Our first half results have been achieved against a tougher business backdrop," said Chua Sock Koong, the company's chief executive. Regional markets "remain attractive" with Singtel's associates driving customer growth and data consumption, Ms. Chua said.

Singtel said it will pay a special dividend of 3 Singapore cents a share, distributing nearly S$500 million out of the S$2.3 billion in proceeds from the IPO of NetLink NBN Trust (CJLU.SG). It will also pay a regular dividend of 6.8 Singapore cents a share.

Singtel's Australian unit, Optus Pte., reported a 4.4% decline in net profit to 175 million Australian dollars (US$134.4 million) during the September quarter, reflecting higher depreciation and amortization after investing to grow its network. Optus's operating revenue was stable at A$2.12 billion.

Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 08, 2017 18:50 ET (23:50 GMT)