Malaysia’s DiGi Telecommunications has posted a 5.0% year-on-year increase in revenues for the first quarter of 2013, with the operator noting that growth had been driven by ‘increased data usage, from a larger mobile internet subscriber base’. For the three-month period ended 31 March 2013, DiGi recorded a turnover of MYR1.647 billion (USD532 million), while the company also highlighted a 1.1% quarter-on-quarter increase in revenues against the ‘seasonally high’ fourth quarter of 2012. Further, the operator noted that data revenues now account for 33.8% of all service revenues; it attributed this to increased 3G coverage and higher smartphone penetration. Service revenues, however, actually fell against 1.1% 4Q12 (though were up 1.1% y-o-y), partly as a result of enforced mobile termination rate (MTR) reductions.
EBITDA in 1Q13 meanwhile stood at MYR720 million, representing a year-on-year decline of 2.3%, while EBITDA margin was 44%, down 3.2 percentage points, with DiGi saying that such a drop had been expected as a result of ‘margin pressure from higher handsets sold and a device mix in favour of the subsidy model as opposed to rebates and continued IDD competition in the market, all of which were partly offset by lower OPEX/revenue’. Profit after tax for the first three months of 2013 increased by 2.6% to MYR329 million.
In operational terms, at the end of March 2013 DiGi’s mobile subscriber base totalled 10.372 million, down marginally from a peak of 10.494 million at end-2012, though up 4.4% year-on-year. With the cellco’s pre-paid customer numbers falling 1.5% q-o-q, it said that such declines were the result of ‘initiatives taken to drive quality subscribers through higher SIM pack pricing and streamlining of sales acquisition’. Mobile internet subscriber numbers, meanwhile, were up 9.1% against end-March 2012, totalling 5.838 million a year later.