SingTel to be careful about digital acquisitions
SINGTEL will continue its push into the digital arena but tread carefully when it comes to acquisitions, it said in its annual report yesterday.
While admitting that its investments in the digital space "are at an early growth phase and registered start-up losses", the telecommunications company vowed to "remain disciplined" about acquisitions.
Amobee - a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel - announced this month its acquisition of Adconion, comprising Adconion Direct North America and Adconion Australia, for US$209 million (about S$260 million), and Kontera Technologies for US$150 million.
Adconion provides digital advertising solutions, while Kontera is a big data company which allows advertisers and agencies to make real-time decisions about their advertising campaigns.
In 2012, SingTel set aside $2 billion to establish its Group Digital L!fe unit.
With valuations of Internet companies at record-high levels, SingTel has been cautious in its investments, chairman Simon Israel said in his statement to shareholders.
"We are focused on investments with proven business models and cash returns, as well as businesses that can leverage the group's scale of over half a billion mobile customers," he added.
SingTel's net profit rose 4 per cent to $3.6 billion, the report said, with two-thirds of earnings from operations outside Singapore.
The strength of the Singapore dollar has thus been a drag on its results, it said.
CEO Chua Sock Koong received a pay package of $4.7 million last year, a 2 per cent rise from her renumeration of $4.6 million the year before.
Allen Lew, CEO for SingTel's Group Digital L!fe and country chief officer, earned $3.3 million.
Paul O'Sullivan, SingTel Australia's CEO and group consumer country chief cfficer, earned slightly above $3.5 million.
The group announced the remuneration for its key and senior management in its financial year report for the year ending March 2014.
Most of Ms Chua's pay is made up of $1.6 million in fixed remuneration and about $3 million in variable bonus.