Malaysia-based Axiata has published its financial results for the first three months of 2015, with the company saying it had been a ‘challenging start’ to its current fiscal year as it performed below headline KPIs.
In the quarter ended 31 March 2015 Axiata generated a total turnover of MYR4.751 billion (USD1.3 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 5.2% (or 2.3% at constant currency), though this was down 1.3% against the previous quarter ended 31 December 2014. Group EBITDA meanwhile totalled MYR1.741 billion, down 2.7% against 1Q14 (or down 5.4% at constant currency levels), with this attributed to higher network costs at Malaysia’s Celcom and Indonesia’s XL. Profit after taxation and minority interests was also lower than in the corresponding period of 2014, declining from MYR675 million to MYR585 million in 1Q15, with this said to be due to ‘a more challenging quarter at Celcom and XL, a weakening Rupiah and increased depreciation costs arising from growth driven capital expenditure’. Capital expenditures in the opening three months of 2015 totalled MYR1.090 billion, some 5.4% higher than in 1Q14, though down by 14% against the previous quarter.
In terms of mobile accesses, the group’s domestic and Indonesian units both saw y-o-y declines, with Celcom’s subscriber base declining by 8% to 12.279 million, while XL’s slumped by 24% to 52.147 million. Sri Lanka-based Dialog meanwhile increased the number of customers on its books to 9.807 million (up 7% y-o-y), while Robi in Bangladesh added more than 2.3 million subscribers over the year to bring its total to 26.289 million as at end-March 2015.
Commenting on the quarterly performance, Axiata Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hj. Mokhtar was cited as saying: ‘In spite of some cyclical challenges, I am pleased to see the Group deliver overall healthy revenue growth, a reflection of our diverse and dynamic portfolio.’