Indonesian operator PT Indosat, a 65%-controlled subsidiary of Ooredoo Asia, booked a net loss of IDR455.6 billion (USD34.5 million) in the three months ended 31 March 2015, reversing a net profit of IDR796.8 billion in the corresponding year-ago period. In a filing to the local bourse, the Indonesian Stock Exchange (BEI), Indosat blamed the dramatic turnaround on foreign exchange losses, which totalled IDR717.6 billion in January-March 2015, compared to a FOREX gain of IDR805.7 billion in 1Q14. Revenue for the three-month period totalled IDR6.09 trillion, it said, up 5.5% compared to the IDR5.77 trillion recorded in 1Q14, driven by mobile which contributed the lion’s share – or IDR4.90 trillion. Operating profit in January-March dipped to IDR501.88 billion from IDR983.47 billion, it said. Indosat closed out March 2015 with a total of 66.5 million mobile users, supported by a total of 40,756 base transceiver stations (BTS), and yielding average monthly blended ARPU of IDR24,000.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last month Indosat revealed it plans to spend between IDR6.5 trillion and IDR7.5 trillion on capital expenditure projects this year, using a mix of internal funding, bonds and loans. Indosat spokesman and investor relations officer Andromeda H Trisanto confirmed the plan, noting that Indosat’s financial position is healthy enough to fund the CAPEX, although he declined to provide a breakdown on how much would come from its own resources and how much from bonds or its revolving loan facility. Up to 80% of this year’s total CAPEX spend will be set aside for network improvement and building more BTS. Although the firm has declined to provide a breakdown on how the money will be spent, or what portion is being ploughed into 4G/LTE, it has confirmed that it is working towards the completion of a two-year network modernisation plan – which includes upgrading BTS with 4G capability. By late-2014 Indosat had successfully completed its modernisation programme in 23 cities, including Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Sukabumi, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Makassar.