Axiata Q1 profit grows 10% despite forex hit

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Malaysia's Axiata Group grew its post-tax profit for the first quarter by 10% to 675 million ringgit ($209.2 million), despite flat revenue due to unfavorable currency fluctuations.

Group revenue came in at 4.5 billion ringgit, up just 1% year-on-year, but in constant currencies would have grown 4%.

Axiata's domestic mobile operation Celcom reported service revenue of 1.8 billion ringgit, only marginally higher than a year earlier. Profit likewise increased marginally to 515 million ringgit.

Mobile data revenues grew a strong 16% year-on-year, and grew to account for 19% of total revenue – compared to 16% a year earlier. Data traffic meanwhile increased 57%.

As previously announced, Axiata's Indonesian subsidiary XL Axiata grew its profit by 20% and its total revenue by 10% year-on-year. Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata grew its revenue by 7% but its profit fell by 20%.

Elsewhere, Bangladesh's Robi Axiata reported 7% higher revenue, but a decline in net profit. Cambodia's Smart posted 39% higher revenue and a more than doubling of net profit.

Celcom plans to continue to focus on mobile data in the future to support the growing demand, and revealed that its LTE rollout is on track to reach around 2000 base stations in the fourth quarter. Axiata's other units will also be making data a top focus.

“Data will continue to be a key growth driver for 2014,” Axiata Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hj. Mokhtar said. “The Group will continue to focus on its core business whilst driving new growth segments. The mobile internet is growing, fuelled by increasing smartphone penetration and better networks.”

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