Singapore Daily Bulletin – 08/02/13

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StarHub Rises On Stronger FY12 Performance
Shares of StarHub opened $0.02 higher at $4.03 in today’s session after the company reported its eighth straight year of consistent revenue growth in 2012. The fully-integrated info-communications firm saw its revenue and earnings rise 4.7 percent to $2.4 billion and 13.9 percent to $359.3 million respectively. The increases were driven by broad-based growth across all service segments as well as increased sale of equipment. Revenue from StarHub’s Mobile segment continues to account for the bulk of total revenue, making up 50.6 percent in FY12. Lending a helping hand to further boost performance was a 1.2 percentage points improvement in EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin as a percentage of service revenue. Moving forward, Co expects operating revenue for 2013 to grow in the single-digit. The company has declared a final dividend of $0.05 per share, bringing the total amount dished out in FY12 to $0.20. In a separate filing with the Singapore Exchange, StarHub has announced the retirement of its current chief executive officer (CEO), Neil Montefiore, and the appointment of Tan Tong Hai, the company’s current chief operating officer, as StarHub’s third CEO with effect from March 2013.

Significance: It is not all good news. StarHub’s Pay TV segment is coming under pressure as its subscriber base for 2012 shrank by 9,000 customers. While SingTel’s mio TV’s aggressiveness had partially driven the quarter-on-quarter drop in StarHub’s average revenue per user in the fourth quarter, Tan said that the company is not losing its valuable, probably more high-end customers.

Olam Records Second Highest Quarterly Earnings Since Listing
In a sign that “business is as usual”, Olam International registered a 19.9 percent jump in net profit to $154.1 million for the second quarter ended 31 December 2012. The improved performance came on the back of growth in trading volumes and a one-time transaction gain. Excluding the $18.1 million that Olam gained after tax from a sale and leaseback transaction of an almond orchard in California, profit growth was smaller at 5.9 percent. Revenue was up 9.2 percent at $4.9 billion. For the first six months of fiscal year 2013, revenue and net profit increased 24.3 percent to $9.6 billion and 21.3 percent to $197.3 million respectively. The firm said that it remained focused on backing the initiatives it believes is important to meet its economic and financial goals.

Significance: The second quarter was a tough period for Olam as the commodity trader fended off criticism and attempts to plug a lack of confidence in the company. Following the accusations, the company has begun a review of its business priorities and free cash flow targets.

Lower Revaluation Gains Weigh On CMA’s Results
For the fourth quarter, CapitaMalls Asia (CMA) posted earnings of $184.8 million, a 10 percent fall from $205.4 million a year ago. Lower fair value gains from its investment properties in China amounting to $24.3 million offset the 71.4 percent rise in revenue which totaled $113.6 million. The company attributed the rise in its top line to the acquisition of Olinas Mall in July 2012, additional stakes in three malls in Japan in February 2012, new contribution from The Star Vista which began operations in September 2012, and improved project and property management fees. Meanwhile, revenue and earnings for the full year went up 46.7 percent to $361.2 million and 19.7 percent to $546 million respectively. CMA s proposing a final dividend per share of $0.01625. Including the interim dividend, the proposed total dividend for 2012 is $0.0325 a share.

Significance: Barclays Research noted that full-year core profit was below expectations mainly due to new mall openings and finance cost. The research house believes its 1.3x price-to-book ratio and 50x core price-to-earnings ratio looks fully valued. With inflexion played out in 2012, it sees fewer catalysts in 2013.

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