Singtel Reuters

Singapore Telecommunications on Friday reported a slightly 6 percent drop in first-quarter profit, hurt by lower contributions from its Indian associate and exceptional charges at Australian unit Optus.

Net profit attributable to the owners of the company fell to S$891.6 million in the three months ended June 30 from S$944.3 million in the corresponding period last year.

Operating revenue at Singtel, Southeast Asia's biggest telecom firm , grew 8.3 percent to S$4.23 billion, the company said in a statement.

Singtel's share of earnings from its regional associates fell 3.8 percent on year to S$673 million, mainly due to weaker contribution from its Indian associate Bharti Airtel, which faces intense competition in its local market.

Besides Bharti Airtel, Singtel also has stakes in Indonesia's Telkomsel, Philippines' Globe Telecom and Thailand's Advanced Info Service.

Singtel's Australian unit Optus reported a net profit of 171 million Australian dollars in the quarter, down slightly from A$173 million last year.

In Australia, Optus is investing A$1 billion in its mobile network over the next year to enhance capacity and 4G coverage by another 500 sites.

Shares in the company were unchanged at S$3.76 on the Singapore Exchange. The stock has gained 3 percent so far this year.