Business Briefs : No financial impact from bush fires: Optus

No financial impact from bush fires: Optus

Singtel unit Optus is not expecting any financial impact from the Australian bush fires.

The situation has improved “significantly” from the weekend when 17 base stations were down – seven damaged due to fire – Optus chief executive officer Allen Lew said on Tuesday.

“These sites will require partial or full rebuilds, but pleasingly, our inter-city fibres that run through some of the impacted areas connecting Sydney to Melbourne are operational,” he added.

Other Singapore-listed companies have also noted that they have not seen any impact yet on Australian operations.

Food firm QAF said the blazes have not affected the properties of its pork production business Rivalea Australia or materially affected operations.

ComfortDelGro said on Monday that none of its bus services in the stricken states of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Queensland is directly affected.

Ascendas Reit, Frasers Property, Cache Logistics Trust, Olam International and Keppel Infrastructure Trust, which all have assets in Australia, said they have not been affected by the fires.

A spokesman for Singtel said on Monday that the fires had disrupted parts of the Optus telecommunications network in NSW and Victoria.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

Samsung Q4 earnings beat estimates

SEOUL • Samsung Electronics’ quarterly earnings beat estimates after memory chip prices began to climb out of a persistent downturn.

The world’s largest memory chipmaker reported a 34 per cent fall in operating income to 7.1 trillion won (S$8.2 billion) in the three months ending December, according to preliminary results released on Tuesday. That compares with the 6.49 trillion won average of analysts’ estimates.

Company shares were mostly unchanged in early trading following the earnings guidance.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Anthea Lai said a strong demand comeback from server customers may restore Samsung’s inventory back to normal levels earlier than expected this year.

Sales for the fiscal fourth quarter were 59 trillion won, falling shy of the consensus projection of 60.9 trillion won. Samsung did not provide net income or break out divisional performance, which it will do later this month when it releases its final results.

BLOOMBERG

United Airlines takes $122m charge

United Airlines Holdings is taking a US$90 million (S$122 million) non-cash charge in the fourth quarter of last year to account for a steep drop in demand for flights to Hong Kong, which has been roiled by anti-government protests for over half a year.

Hong Kong International Airport imposes landing and arrival authorisations, or slots, for carriers operating there – as do several other congested major airports worldwide.

These traffic restrictions require airlines to periodically assess the value of their slot portfolios. “Due to a decrease in demand for the Hong Kong market and the resulting decrease in unit revenue, the company determined that the value of its Hong Kong routes had been fully impaired,” United Airlines said on Tuesday in a regulatory filing.

Visitor arrivals to Hong Kong last November fell 56 per cent from a year earlier.

BLOOMBERG

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