Pay TV growth shines for Starhub

Pay TV revenues pulled in by Singapore’s triple play operator Starhub registered the highest growth of any of its business sectors in 2008, up 17% over the year.

Starhub’s total revenues were up 6% for the year, at S$2,128 million. While mobile remains Starhub’s major revenue contributor, at 51% of the operator’s total revenues, pay-TV now accounts for 19%. Fixed network services, broadband and equipment sales contribute 14%, 12% and 5% respectively. Broadband revenues grew just 3% and mobile revenues were up 4%.

Pay-TV revenues rose to S$398 million from S$342 million a year earlier. The increase was driven by a larger customer base, up 4% year-on-year, and ARPU up S$6 over the year to reach S$57. Digital cable customers increased 24% to 504,000 homes – now 96% of the total 524,000 base.

Group EBITDA was stable at S$644 million. Operating profit was 2% lower at S$409 million. Net profit decreased 6% to S$311 million.

Terry Clontz, CEO of StarHub, said: "In the fourth quarter, we managed through an increasingly volatile business environment, as the Singapore economy continued to contract. Yet, we ended the full year with a larger customer base and a relatively strong fourth quarter. As such, we are recommending a final dividend of 4.5 cents per share, bringing the total dividends to 18 cents per share for FY2008.”

Starhub is forecasting 2009 operating revenue growth to be in the low single digits.