Making winning a habit

Making winning a habit

Fiona Chau
Telecom Asia

Best Regional Mobile Group

Axiata (Malaysia)

Last year's winner:Axiata
Business segments:Mobile Communications
ChairmanAzman Mokhtar
Key shareholders:Khazanah (Investment arm of the Malaysian Government); Citigroup Nominees; AmanahRaya Trustees
Key 2010 stats:Revenue up 17% to $5.2b (RM15.6b); net profits up 86% to $872m (RM2.6b); EBITDA up 30% to $238m (RM7.1b); 160m subs

Jamaludin Ibrahim, President and Group CEO, Axiata GroupComing off a spectacular 2009, Axiata, the Malaysian mobile carrier group, raised the bar last year and enjoyed continued momentum with improved profitability in 2010.

Axiata, which took home the Best Regional Mobile Group award for the second consecutive year, continued to perform strongly by achieving double-digit growth in key metrics. Net profits (normalized profit after tax and minority interests) grew 86% year-on-year to RM2.6 billion ($896 million) while EBITDA rose 30% to RM 1.7 billion.

"We raised the bar with 2010's performance, which continued to break records and was our best ever," said Axiata president and Group CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim.  "The success last year was due our focused and coherent strategies at all levels, execution capabilities, strong management teams and teamwork across the group."

He said the growth drivers vary from country to country: "In Malaysia, the main driver was mobile broadband. In Indonesia and Bangladesh, however, the main drivers were subscriber growth and increased usage."

Among its ten operating companies across the region, the key performers include Celcom in Malaysia, XL in Indonesia, Robi in Bangladesh and Dialog in Sri Lanka.  The best performer was XL, which saw significant growth in all areas (see Best Emerging Markets Carrier Award).

Benefiting from the strong mobile data growth, Celcom achieved its highest profitability to date with 23% in net profit, contributing 42% to the group's EBITDA.

Robi, the fastest growing operator, also achieved strong year-to-date growth. Revenue grew 31% and profitability increased 16%, driven by the country's relatively low mobile penetration (44%).

Dialog, meanwhile, underwent a successful turnaround, with profit after tax jumping to $45.2 million after losses of 108.6 million in 2009.

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