February 7, 2018 / 11:52 PM / a year ago

Singtel Q3 net profit falls 8.5 pct as regional affiliates feel pinch

SINGAPORE, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) on Thursday reported an 8.5 percent fall in its third-quarter net profit, due to a drop in voice revenues and lower earnings from its regional affiliates.

Southeast Asia’s largest telecom operator posted a net profit of S$890 million ($671.5 million) for the three months ended December, compared with S$973 million in the year-ago period. Higher network depreciation and amortisation from infrastructure investments also hurt earnings.

Underlying net profit, which excludes exceptional items, fell 8 percent.

Regional affiliates in which Singtel owns stakes, such as India’s Bharti Airtel and Indonesia’s Telkomsel, are facing increased competition in their home markets, leading to lower profit contributions to Singtel in the quarter.

Singtel’s revenue climbed 4.4 percent to S$4.6 billion, helped by stronger performance at its Group Digital Life unit, which includes services such as data analytics and digital marketing, and its Australian consumer business.

Singtel said it maintained its full-year results forecast. ($1 = 1.3254 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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