Malaysia's two top operators, Maxis and Axiata, yesterday both reported declining profit for the third quarter despite growing revenue and subscribers.
Maxis revealed its net profit for the quarter fell 10.4% year-on-year and 3% sequentially to 537 million ringgit ($1.81 million). Maxis blamed higher handset subsidies and financing costs for the decline.
The company ended the quarter with 14.2 million mobile customers, including 2.7 million postpaid subscribers and 711,000 wireless broadband users.
Revenue grew 4% sequentially to 2.24 billion ringgit. But it was down by 24 million ringgit from the prior year, in a result attributed to lower voice and hubbing revenue and the effects of a regulator-imposed cut in both mobile and fixed termination rates.
Blended monthly ARPU grew to 54 ringgit, from 51 ringgit a quarter earlier, but averge MOU fell slightly to 185.
Axiata meanwhile saw its net profit for the quarter fall 8.8% year-on-year to 679.1 million ringgit, even as operating revenue improved from 3.97 billion to 4.19 billion ringgit.
Chairman Tan Sri Dato' Azman Hj. Mokhtar said that “it has been a tough year, with competition intensifying amidst a difficult operating landscape,” but added that in this context the group recorded “healthy growth.”
He said traditional voice revenue was in decline, but that this is being offset by strong mobile data growth.
The group ended Q3 with 187 million subscribers across its operating companies – Celcom in Malaysia, XL Axiata in Indonesia, Dialog Telecom in Sri Lanka and Robi in Bangladesh - and regional affiliates Idea Cellular in India and M1 in Singapore.