Malaysian mobile group Axiata Group (formerly TM International) more than doubled its net profit for the third quarter of 2009 to MYR503.7 million (USD149 million), up from MYR243.9 million in July-September 2008, on revenues that grew by 5% year-on-year and 7% quarter-on-quarter to MYR3.381 billion. EBITDA climbed 4% y-o-y and 5% q-o-q to MYR1.309 billion, driven by continued operational improvements across all its subsidiaries, as total mobile subscribers passed the 100 million mark in the quarter. Malaysian operation Celcom benefited from solid growth in the wireless broadband market to grow its subscriber base 23% year-on-year to 10.14 million, whilst Indonesian unit PT Excelcomindo Pratama (XL) improved its subscriber mix and ARPU and finished September 2009 with 26.62 million customers, up from 25.09 million a year earlier. Sri Lanka’s Dialog Telekom continued to perform strongly amidst intense local price competition, with mobile subscriptions jumping 27% y-o-y to 6.33 million, and Axiata Bangladesh (AKTEL) reaped the benefits of aggressive marketing in the third quarter, increasing its user base by 18% in three months and 35% in twelve to 11.07 million at end-September. Overall group subscribers rose by 30.6% in a year to 108 million at end-3Q, including 46.8 million customers of associated Indian operator Idea Cellular.
Axiata said in a statement to the stock market: ‘The group has seen an acceleration of performance on the back of increased focus on operations and diligent execution of strategies across all operating companies…This has been further aided by the steadying rebound seen in regional economies the group operates in. That said, volatility and increasing competition still remains an issue…For the rest of the year, the group will continue to focus on revenue growth but with a prudent approach, emphasising cost management.’