Malaysia’s Axiata (formerly TM International) has released its financial results for the three-month period ended 31 March 2009, revealing a sharp decline in net profit to MYR63.9 million (USD17.7 million), down from MYR402.7 million a year earlier on a pro forma basis. The slump was attributed to foreign exchange losses and relatively weak performance from the company’s overseas units; total foreign exchange loss for the period was MYR166 million. Revenue for the group, however, rose for the quarter, up 5.3% year-on-year to MYR2.87 billion, although earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBIDTA) fell 7% against the same period last year to MYR1.05 billion.
The company highlighted continued momentum at Malaysian cellco Cellcom, along with improved performance at its Bangladeshi subsidiary, AKTEL, as the keys to helping offset some of the declines. Additionally, in a bid to counteract shrinking GDP growth across its regions of operation, Axiata has revealed that it has begun a group-wide project to look at cost management. It has identified several measures, including tower sharing and network redesign, which it hopes will allow it to reduce CAPEX from MYR5.4 billion to MYR4.2 billion this year.