M1 – BT

M1 posts 6% dip in Q1 profit

Telco revises its earnings expectations for 2010 upwards

M1 LIMITED posted a 6 per cent year-on-year decline in net profit for the first quarter of this year, from $41.9 million to $39.3 million.

Excluding a tax adjustment that had boosted Q1 2009’s bottom line, M1’s net profit for Q1 2010 saw an increase of about 8 per cent.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 increased 33.6 per cent from $186.4 million to $249 million on the back of higher service revenue and handset sales.

Compared with Q4 2009, revenue grew 15.1 per cent, predominantly driven by handset sales.

Both postpaid and prepaid revenue increased in Q1, growing 1.3 per cent and 8.5 per cent year on year due to an expanding customer base.

For the quarter, M1 gained 38,000 customers, out of which 21,000 were postpaid customers and 17,000 were prepaid customers.

This took its customer base to 1.796 million as at end-March, an increase of 10.9 per cent year on year.

At end-February, M1’s market share held steady at 25.8 per cent, compared to 25.7 per cent in Q4 2009.

‘We expect data usage to continue to grow due to the take-up of smartphones,’ said Karen Kooi, chief executive officer of M1.

‘We are looking forward to the commercial launch of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network and plan to offer a comprehensive suite of services for homes and offices. We will continue to upgrade our High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network to support downlink speed of up to 42Mbps by 2010 as well.’

In response to questions about its opinion on the allocation of the remaining 3G spectrum, M1’s chief technical officer Patrick Scodeller said: ‘We are in the process of replying to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and generally our view is that we would like some of the spectrum to support our growth in 3G.’

The IDA is currently seeking views from the telecom industry and the public about its proposal to free up its remaining 3G cellular spectrum and perhaps allow a fourth operator into the high-speed mobile services playing field.

The modernisation of its 2G network remains on track for completion in Q1 2011.

M1 also revised its expectations of earnings for the year upwards.

‘We are estimating full-year earnings as likely to improve compared to 2009,’ said Ms Kooi.

During the release of M1’s Q4 2009 results, the group had stated that it expected earnings in 2010 to be ‘comparable’ to 2009.

Earnings per share for the quarter fell 6.4 per cent from 4.7 cents to 4.4 cents, year on year.

The counter rose three cents in trading yesterday, to close at $2.14.

Comments are Closed