Malaysia-based Axiata Group has reported a solid 14.1% increase in net profit for the first nine months of the financial year due to a market-beating performance across most of its operating companies.
The operator reported total profit of 1.1 billion ringgit ($267 million) on the back of a 15% increase in revenue to 15.8 billion ringgit.
Revenue growth was mostly driven by increased data consumption, with data revenue growing to account for 44% of total service revenue, up from 33% in the same period a year earlier.
For the third quarter, group revenue improved 2.4% sequentially to 6.2 billion but net profit was down 33.4% to 319.1 million due in large part to losses at Indian affiliate Idea Cellular.
Domestic mobile operator Celcom Axiata by contrast showed continued signs of a turnaround, with third quarter revenue up 2.1% quarter on quarter, ahead of the industry average.
Indonesia's XL likewise reported revenue growth ahead of the industry for three consecutive quarters, with third quarter service revenue up 5% sequentially on the back of 10.9% higher data revenue.
In Cambodia, Smart reported year-to-date revenue growth of 9.3% and profit growth of 8.9%, while Sri Lanka's Dialog and Bangladesh's Robi reported 8.5% and 4.1% revenue growth respectively over the same period.
Finally, Nepal's Ncell reported year to date core revenue growth of 7.2%, with the launch of 4G in June driving data revenue growth of 15.4% quarter-on-quarter during Q3.
“Our markets continue to face strong competition and regulatory uncertainties. In spite of this, Axiata has performed well to record a healthy double digit growth year to date,” Axiata chairman Tan Sri Azman Hj. Mokhtar commented.
“The board acknowledges the progress made in the group’s ongoing cost optimization program and operational turnaround of Celcom and XL.”