November 8, 2018 / 12:58 AM / a year ago

Singtel second quarter underlying net profit drops 22 percent

FILE PHOTO A man looks out of the window under a Singtel signage at their head office in Singapore February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo GLOBAL

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (STEL.SI) on Thursday reported underlying net profit fell 22 percent in the second quarter, hit by lower contributions from some of its regional associates and a stronger Singapore dollar.

Southeast Asia’s largest telecom operator posted net profit of S$667 million ($486 million) for the three months ended in September, compared with S$2.85 billion a year ago. Last year’s results included an exceptional gain from the partial divestment of its stake in its broadband unit NetLink Trust (NETL.SI).

Underlying net profit, which excludes one-time items, was S$715 million versus S$915 million a year ago.

The company’s revenue was flat at S$4.27 billion.

Singtel owns stakes in a number of regional telecom operators including India’s Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS), whose performance has suffered from intense competition in its home market.

“We remain positive about our regional associates which continue to benefit from the growing demand for data and have executed well against the challenges and competition,” Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong said in a statement.

The company also mostly maintained its previously issued forecast for the full year that ends in March 2019.

($1 = 1.3718 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; editing by Richard Pullin and Stephen Coates

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