Singapore Telecom said Wednesday its net profit climbed 7.0 percent in the fiscal first quarter from the previous year on stronger contributions from regional associates and lower costs.
Net profit in the three months ended June was Sg$1.01 billion ($797 million), up from Sg$945 million in the same period last year, Southeast Asia's biggest telecom firm by revenue said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.
Group revenue fell 5.3 percent to Sg$4.3 billion, SingTel said, adding that this reflected a more cautious business environment and a slowdown in the mobile market in Australia, where its wholly-owned subsidiary Optus operates.
SingTel, which has expanded beyond its small domestic market in the city-state, said the weaker Australian dollar also weighed on revenue.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), were up 4.0 percent to Sg$1.30 billion as expenses fell 9.0 percent.
The company said its regional mobile associates posted a 14 percent rise in pre-tax ordinary earnings to Sg$552 million, with India's Bharti Airtel reporting a better performance.
Apart from Bharti Airtel, SingTel also owns substantial stakes in four other foreign mobile operators -- Indonesia's Telkomsel, Thailand's Advanced Info Service, the Philippines' Globe Telecom and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom.
"It was a strong quarter," SingTel group chief executive Chua Sock Koong said in a statement.
"We continue to make progress in strengthening our high performance core business and create next-generation growth engines in the digital space."
SingTel said its combined regional mobile customer base climbed 6.0 percent to 477 million.
"Our regional mobile associates have continued to perform well. We are also pleased to see some pricing discipline returning to the Indian mobile market and are optimistic that (Bharti) Airtel, as the market leader, is positioned to benefit from this."