Singtel sinks into the red with $668.1m loss in Q2

It was hit by Bharti Airtel's provisions worth $1.93b.

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) was hit with a $668.1m net loss in Q2 due to the $1.93b pre-tax share of Bharti Airtel from the $5.49b provision of Indian telcos, according to its SGX filing.

In October, India’s Supreme Court ordered Airtel and other telcos a provision for the state after a ruling on the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for the industry. Airtel's provision was worth $2.61b, comprised of other taxes, custom duties, demands under adjudication, appeal or disputes, and related interest to some disputes as at 30 September.

Excluding Airtel, net profit would have gained 4% YoY compared to the $667.2 profits posted in Q2 2018, according to the SGX filing.

Also read:Singtel Q1 profits crashed 35% to $541.1m

Singtel’s Australian business saw a 5% YoY revenue rise on the back of gains from NBN’s regional expansion.

In Singapore, revenue edged up 2% YoY as a result of higher mobile revenue, driven by postpaid customer growth and higher equipment sales. These reportedly offset voice declines and the amortisation of handset subsidies, according to Singtel.

Group CEO Sock Koong noted that a weak global economic environment has hit the telecom industry and expects the conditions to continue into 2020.

Singtel plans to maintain its dividend of $0.175 per share for the financial year ending 31 March 2020. The board has approved a stable interim dividend at $0.68 per share for the half year ended 30 September.

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