SINGAPORE (June 18): World Cup fever is upon us again. Soccer fans here might gripe about how much they have to cough up for pay-TV, on top of existing subscriptions, just so they can catch the action live. Still, regardless of whether they are Singtel or StarHub customers, or taking in the action with mates at a pub or coffee shop, their viewing is made possible by the 76,000km-long network of fibre-optic cables running across the island.

The network is owned and operated by Netlink NBN Trust, which listed on the Singapore Exchange nearly a year ago, on July 19, 2017. Netlink’s IPO story was a straightforward one. As an important infrastructure company providing high-speed internet access in Singapore, it was billed as a dependable asset with a steady stream of returns that would appeal to even the most conservative of investors.

For its FY2018 ended March 31, Netlink surprised the market, beating forecasts for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation and profit after tax by 3.8% and 10.8% respectively. Revenue for the year was $228.5 million, while profit attributable to unitholders was $49.9 million. At 3.24 cents per unit, distribution per unit was also 5% higher than what was forecast at IPO. That translates into an annualised yield of about 5.7%.

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