Singtel has reported earnings of $1.17 billion for its 1HFY2023 ended Sept 30, up 23% y-o-y, as it booked gains from the recent divestment of a 3.3% stake in Bharti, its associate in India.
Excluding such one offs, the telco’s underlying earnings would be up by just 2% y-o-y.
Operating revenue in the same period was down 5% to $7.26 billion because of unfavourable currency movements.
The telco says that on an underlying and constant currency basis, ebitda and ebit would have increased 3% and 8% respectively.
“Our strong results underscore the progress we’ve made executing to our reset as economies reopen,” says group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon.
“There was a major rebound in our core business as the resumption in travel lifted roaming revenues across both our consumer and enterprise businesses,” he adds.
NCS, its enterprise unit, for one, has added new bookings of some $1.3 billion, bringing its total order book to $3.5 billion.
Yuen also notes that Singtel, via its on-going capital recycling moves, has raised some $6 billion in the last 18 months and has reduced its net debt by a third from a year ago.
“As testament to our proven asset recycling model, we are sharing the benefits by returning excess cash to our shareholders after setting aside capital for our growth initiatives,” says Yuen.
The telco plans to give out an interim dividend of 4.6 cents, plus a special dividend of 5 cents over two tranches.
Singtel shares closed Nov 9 at $2.55, up 0.39% for the day.