SINGAPORE, 12 NOVEMBER 2009 - Bucking all odds to slip lower than last year's figures, StarHub's operating revenues managed to increase slightly by less than a per cent to S$1.6 billion [US$1.153 billion] in January to September 2009.
In the same period in 2008, operating revenues reached S$1.59 billion [US$1.145 billion].
Quarterly figures though were not enough to push the year-to-date (YTD) results further upwards as operating revenues showed a 2.29 per cent increase to S$537 million [US$386.8 million] in July to September 2009 from S$525 million [US$378.16 million] in the same quarter in 2008.
Profit after tax went up 10 per cent to S$245 million [US$176.47 million] in the three quarters from S$224 million [US$161.35 million]. In the third quarter alone, results were also higher by seven per cent to S$85 million [US$61.226 million].
Profit from operations also increased five per cent to S$319 million [US$229.78 million] from S$304 million [US$218.97 million] in the nine-month period. On a quarterly basis, results showed a four per cent improvement to S$111 million [US$79.95 million].
Although free cash flow (FCF) in the quarter decreased eight per cent to S$115 million [US$82.83 million], this rose by 28 per cent to S$379 million [US$272.99 million] in the three quarters.
Note that FCF represents the cash that the company is able to produce following the release of funds needed to steadily keep or even expand its assets. It gives a company the opportunity to increase the shareholder value.
In view of the expected profitability and cash flow for the remaining 2009 and into 2010, our dividend guidance is increased to pay a minimum annual cash dividend for FY2009 of 19 cents per ordinary share, StarHub said in a statement.
For 3Q-2009, we will pay five cents per ordinary share as an interim dividend and looking ahead, we expect to maintain the dividend at a minimum of five cents per ordinary share per quarter, the company said.
Also in relation to the StarHub's asset base expansion, capital expenditure in the third quarter registered lower by 10 per cent or S$6 million [US$4.32 million] to S$54 million [US$38.9 million]. However, it showed a six per cent YTD improvement to S$175 million [US$126.05 million].
Year-on-year, revenues from fixed network services, mobile and pay-TV registered growths of six per cent, five per cent and two per cent, respectively. Broadband revenue, however, went down by six per cent.
Cumulatively since January 2009, revenues derived from fixed network services, pay TV and mobile increased by corresponding seven per cent, two per cent and one per cent. On the other hand, broadband decreased four per cent.
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