XL Axiata swings to $74m loss for 9M14

Dylan Bushell-Embling
31 Oct 2014
00:00
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Daily News

Indonesia's XL Axiata swung to a 901 billion rupiah ($74.3 million) loss for the first nine months of 2014, due in large part to rising infrastructure expenses.

The result marks a reversal of fortune compared to the 917 billion rupiah profit that the operator reported for the same period last year.

Revenue grew 11% to 17.6 trillion rupiah, with data revenue swelling 43%, compared to just 4% for both voice and SMS revenue.

Data's contribution to total revenue increased from 28% to 23% over the same period, while data traffic surged 136% year-on-year. The operator's total data subscriber base increased to 31.2 million, or 53% of its total base.

But XL's infrastructure expenses grew 43.5% to 6.3 trillion rupiah, dragging down overall profit. Total debt increased to 30.4 trillion rupiah from 17.5 trillion rupiah, resulting in higher interest costs, and forex fluctuations also negatively impacted earnings.

The operator has been making moves to cut down on infrastructure costs, and as part of this strategy has arranged to sell 3,500 telecom towers to PT Solusi Tunas Pratama for 5.6 trillion rupiah. But the transaction has not yet been completed.

“As part of our commitment in data expansion for better experience, we have conducted a network transformation in key cities that have been implemented since early 2014,” XL Axiata president director Hansul Suhaimi commented.

“During Lebaran season, XL has succeeded to manage the traffic increase with result in lower customer complaint as much as 20% decline compared last year and higher successful rate of connection as high as 99.94%.”

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