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SingTel says third quarter net profit down 8.3%


Singapore Telecom (SingTel (SES: E1:Z74.SI - news) ) said Thursday its third quarter net profit fell 8.3 percent from the previous year as it invested more to improve growth and incurred one-off restructuring expenses.

Contributions from regional mobile phone associates were also dented by weaker regional currencies against the Singapore dollar, SingTel said in a statement.

Net profit for the quarter ended December 31 came in at Sg$827 million, down from Sg$902 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.8 percent to Sg$4.6 billion.

For the nine months to December, net profit eased 2.2 percent to Sg$2.64 billion on revenues of Sg$13.70, down 2.5 percent.

SingTel has been ramping up the roll out of its 4G network coverage in Singapore and expects to cover the entire island-state by the end of March.

Its Australian subsidiary Optus has extended its 4G coverage in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

SingTel said it also registered exceptional charges of Sg$67 million related to the restructuring of Optus' workforce and the network modernisation of Philippine associate Globe Telecom (Other OTC: GTMEF - news) .

"We are executing our transformation plan to grow in the new digital era, exploiting opportunities in mobile data and enterprise ICT (information and communication technology) services" to boost its revenues, said SingTel chief executive Chua Sock Koong.

"The group is focused on driving growth in mobile data services with continued investment in its infrastructure, attractive tiered data plans and meeting customer demand for higher speeds and better user experience."

As of end December, the SingTel group had 473 million mobile subscribers, up 9.0 percent from a year ago.

SingTel holds significant stakes in India's Bharti Airtel, Indonesia's Telkomsel, Thailand's Advanced Info Service the Philippines' Globe Telecom and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom.

Last month, SingTel announced plans to divest its stake in Pakistan's Warid Telecom.