Axiata profit grows 40.1% in Q3
Malaysia's Axiata Group has reported a strong 40.1% year-on-year increase in net profit for the third quarter of the year, on the back of record quarterly revenue of 5.1 billion ringgit.
Net profit for the quarter grew to 891.3 million ringgit. Besides the solid revenue growth, profit was also positively impacted by one-off gains related to the sale of Indonesian unit XL Axiata's tower assets and favorable foreign exchange rates.
Operating revenue grew 8.8% year-on-year and 7.9% sequentially to 5.06 billion ringgit due to a strong performance at regional subsidiaries Dialog Axiata (Sri Lanka), Robi Axiata (Bangladesh) and Smart Axiata (Cambodia).
Gross revenue at Celcom - Axiata's operating subsidiary in Malaysia - by contrast fell 6.5% quarter-on-quarter. Axiata blamed the contraction on declines in both voice and SMS revenue. Profit after tax from the market over the same period fell 22.1% to 318.9 million ringgit.
For the first nine months of 2015, group revenue grew 4.5% year-on-year to 14.52 billion ringgit, but would have declined by 0.6% in constant currency.
Malaysian gross revenue fell 4.5% and Indonesian gross revenue decreased by 0.4% due to the voice and SMS declines. But Bangladesh revenue grew 24.1%, Sri Lanka revenue was up 22.3% and Cambodia revenue swelled 56.4%.
“This has been a steady but encouraging quarter for the group,” Axiata group CEO Dato' Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim commented.
“Dialog and Smart have performed exceptionally well. Celcom is regaining customers steadily while XL has started to reap benefits from the ongoing implementation of its transformation program.”
Can cellcos tap into a sizeable new market, or is the distrust over roaming too great?