SINGAPORE (May 17): Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) saw its earnings fall 19% to $780.6 million for the 4Q ended March, from $963.3 million a year ago, on the back of weaker results from Airtel and Telkomsel and adverse currency movements.

This brings full-year earnings for FY18 to a record high of $5.45 billion, up 41.5% from $3.85 billion a year ago. This was due to an exceptional gain on disposal of units in NetLink Trust.

4Q18 operating revenue was stable at $4.33 billion, a marginal 0.4% higher than $4.31 billion a year ago.

Revenue from its core businesses comprising Group Consumer and Group Enterprise fell 1.4% to $4.12 billion during the quarter. This was mitigated by a 61.5% increase in Group Digital Life revenue to $205 million.

In Singapore, 1Q18 consumer revenue and EBITDA were down 4% and 14%, respectively.

Mobile communications revenue was impacted by voice to data substitution, declines in roaming services and a higher mix of SIM-only plans.

Meanwhile, home revenues declined with the cessation of Premier League sublicensing and lower fixed voice usage but was partially mitigated by continued growth in broadband services.

As at end March, cash and cash equivalents stood at $524.9 million.

The board has recommended a final dividend of 10.7 cents per share, bringing total divided per share for the year to 17.5 cents.

The group says it expects to maintain its ordinary dividends of 17.5 cents per share for the next two financial years. Thereafter, it will revert to the payout of between 60% and 75% of underlying net profit.

“These results reflect the strong execution of our digital transformation strategy in both our core and new digital businesses. Optus gained market share in Australia underscoring its network and content strategy while our ICT and digital businesses now account for 24% of revenue, with digital marketing arm Amobee achieving growth and positive EBITDA for the year,” says Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group CEO.

“We remain focused on what is important to both our consumer and enterprise customers – premium mobile networks, secure high-speed connectivity, innovative products and services, and excellent customer service. Besides strengthening our competitiveness, this allows us to deliver even greater value to customers,” she adds.

Shares of Singtel closed 1 cent down at $3.42 on Wednesday.