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NetLink NBN Trust announces H1 DPU of 2.44 Singapore cents

NATIONAL broadband network provider NetLink NBN Trust will pay out a distribution per unit (DPU) of 2.44 Singapore cents for the first half-year, according to interim second-quarter results released on Friday.

If the distribution holds in the second half of the year, the full-year DPU of 4.88 cents will come in 5.2 per cent higher than forecast in its initial public offering (IPO) prospectus, the manager added.

The trust, which was listed in July 2017, did not pay any DPU for the same period in the previous year.

Net profit was S$18.7 million for the three months to Sept 30, up 43.9 per cent on the year before and beating the IPO prospectus projection by 16.2 per cent.

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Turnover came in at S$90.6 million, up 39.9 per cent year-on-year and 6.7 per cent above forecast, as higher diversion revenue and ducts and manholes service revenue more than made up for lower-than-projected installation-related revenue.

The diversion revenue of S$7.1 million came on recognition of revenue from completed projects, mainly for government agencies, while ducts and manholes service revenue of S$9.2 million came largely from the recovery of costs from Singtel for joint-build projects.

Earnings per unit rose to 0.48 Singapore cent from 0.33 cent previously.

Residential connections grew 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter to 1.24 million as at Sept 30, while non-residential connections rose 1.6 per cent over the same period to 45,514, and non-building address point (NBAP) connections were up 13.4 per cent to 1,280.

The manager said in its outlook statement that NetLink NBN Trust is on track to meet the projected number of residential and non-residential fibre end-user connections stated in its prospectus for FY2019.

But it added that the top line may take a hit from lower installation revenues, even though turnover from key connection services is expected to be in line with the projection.

The trust is expanding its network in new housing estates, the manager added, and it has been working with the requesting licencees to anticipate demand in the non-residential and NBAP segments.

Net profit for the half-year nearly tripled to S$37.7 million on revenue of S$176.7 million, more than twice as much as in the year before.

NetLink NBN Trust shed half a Singapore cent or 0.64 per cent to close at S$0.775 before the results were released.