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Singapore's SingTel reports better than expected revenue - 2004-02-09

Singapore's telecommunication giant SingTel has reported better than expected revenue for the three-month period through December and Indonesia's inflation rate has continued to decline.

SingTel, which operates four mobile-phone companies in the Asia-Pacific region, reported net profit of nearly $503 million for October to December. That was a surge of 188 percent from the same period a year ago.

Lee Hsien Yang, president and chief executive of the Singapore telecommunications company, says the company's Australian subsidiary, Optus, gave earnings a big boost. "The Singapore business continues to generate strong cash flows. Optus continues to deliver double-digit top-line growth," he says. "Regional mobile is growing rapidly in terms of profit and dividends."

Mobile phone subscribers for Optus grew 18 percent last year. In addition, the stronger Australian dollar helped raise net profit.

Chinese web portal Sohu has announced that its net profit jumped to $26 million in 2003, compared with a loss of $1 million in the previous year. The Chinese dot-com company says its Internet advertising revenue more than doubled to $29 million last year. Its consumer services operations, such as subscriptions and messaging services, climbed 141 percent, to $15 million.

Indonesia has reported its consumer price index stood at four point eight percent for the 12 months through the end of January.

Inflation in Indonesia has been decreasing in the past few years - prices rose 10 percent in 2002. The government statistics bureau said that a good harvest, an increase in imports and a stronger rupiah, Indonesia's currency, have pushed food prices lower.