StarHub Limited

A Star Reborn

StarHub, an info-communication firm was listed on 13-Oct-2004. Singapore is the company main market. 

Business portfolio consist of:

  • Mobile services

  • Sale of equipment (handsets)

  • PayTV

  • Broadband

  • Enterprise business comprising:

    • Network solutions​

    • Cyber security services

Singapore Cable Vision (SCV) was licensed in 1991 to establish a nationwide cable TV & broadband network. Construction of the $600M project was completed in 1999. StarHub was merged with SCV in 2002.

Financial

Between 2002 - 2011, StarHub grew at a CAGR of more than 10% with the rapid adoption of cable TV and mobile phones. 

The firm enjoyed monopoly in cable TV until the gradual rollout of optical fibre from 2009. From thereon, the company began to lose market share to SingTel and M1. 

Onslaught of competition and a maturing mobile market led to decline in mobile and PayTV businesses from 2012. 

Note: From 2012, Mobile business unit were segregated into Mobile & Sale of equipment and cable TV split into PayTV and Broadband. 

Corporate Actions

Although CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos will be stepping down by end October 2020; he has already put in place several initiatives to address the company challenges:

  • PayTV and Broadband: migrating customers from cable network to optical fibre through promotions. This action was completed in 4Q19. Revenue decline have started to slow as seen from 1H20 results. 

  • Resulting in reduced expenses from 42.9% in FY19 to 1H20 41.1% and improving operating margin

  • Developing Enterprise business, in particular Cyber Security.

  • Licence to build 5G network in Singapore with M1.

Opinion

With increased data centres, data mining & management and machine learning; Cyber Security is becoming a crucial entity in the digital world. According to Statista, this will be a USD 250B market by 2023. This business offer StarHub an opportunity to expand beyond the Singapore market. The acquisition of Strateq in Mar-20 is a signal in this direction.

Apple imminent launch of iPhone 12 will likely trigger a super- cycle in the next 12-18 months as Apple users start upgrading their devices to 5G. StarHub should benefit from this trend with her growing post-paid subscriber base. Beside improving Sale of Equipment (handset), it will also benefit Mobile Services. 

 

Serving only the Singapore market is an advantage in the Covid-19 world. The island thus far have been successful in containing the virus spread; boosting consumer confidence hence domestic spending with less to worry about business beyond the shore.

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