Singapore: Singapore Telecom (Singtel) said on Thursday fourth-quarter net profit rose 4.5 percent year-on-year, boosted by strong performances in the home market and regional associates as its digital business expands.
Net profit totalled Sg$939 million ($709.4 million) in the three months to March, compared with Sg$898 million in the same period last year, Southeast Asia’s biggest telecom firm by revenue said in a statement.
Revenue rose 5.1 percent to Sg$4.34 billion from Sg$4.13 billion.
For the full year to March, net profit jumped 3.5 percent to Sg$3.78 billion while group revenue gained 2.2 percent to Sg$17.22 billion.
“The group and its associates successfully captured the strong growth in mobile data services, with strategic investments in networks, distribution, customer initiatives and support,” Singtel said in the statement.
“To capitalise on the potential of mobile data services in the emerging markets, the regional mobile associates continued to invest in spectrum and build next generation data networks.”
Shares in the firm were up 0.46 percent at Sg$4.38 on Singapore’s stock exchange Thursday.
The firm said revenue from its consumer business in at home in Singapore as well as from its fully owned Australian subsidiary Optus “rose strongly, driven by higher mobile data uptake and equipment sales”.
Apart from Optus, Singtel also owns substantial stakes in India’s Bharti Airtel, Indonesia’s Telkomsel, Thailand’s Advanced Info Service, the Philippines’ Globe Telecom and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom.
In April, Singtel said it was buying almost all of US cybersecurity firm Trustwave for $810 million.
Singtel chief executive Chua Sock Koong said in the statement that the acquisition signalled the firm’s aspiration “to be a significant global player in cyber security”.
“In the digital space, we are sharpening our focus in three key areas -? digital marketing, regional premium video and advanced analytics,” she said.
Singtel last year allocated Sg$2.0 billion for digital investments until the 2016 financial year.
In January, it entered into a joint venture with Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers to set up HOOQ, a new video-streaming service for Asia in the mould of Netflix.
And in April, it launched its own mobile chat app Wavee. In June last year, its fully owned digital advertising firm Amobee bought two mobile advertising firms for a total Sg$385 million.
Singtel bought US-based Amobee for Sg$321 million in 2012.