PT XL Axiata, the Indonesian mobile operator backed by Malaysia-based Axiata Group, booked revenue of IDR11.131 trillion (USD814.8 million) for the first six months of this year, down 4% compared to IDR11.595 trillion in January-June 2014. However, the cellco’s president Dian Siswarini attempted to put a positive slant on the results by noting that in Q2 2015, XL achieved positive growth of 2.4% compared to Q2 2014, adding that her strategy of revamping the company’s focus to increase customer service quality, strengthen sales channels and relaunch the Axis brand on the market was bearing fruit. ‘Currently, the medium-term transformation process is still in the early stages and still continues to proceed. We’ve been getting some positive initial results, which reinforce our confidence on the transformation agenda we are doing,’ she said. Nonetheless, first-half losses of IDR851 billion compared to a loss of IDR445 billion in 1H14, impacted too by unrealised forex transactions, tax revenue, and a weakening rupiah (IDR). Without these, XL Axiata says it would have recorded a net profit of IDR162 billion in the six-month period under review.
CAPEX reached IDR2.3 trillion in 1H15, the company said, as it continued its focus on driving mobile internet – i.e. 4G – in Indonesia. With the government’s initial spectrum rearrangement and redesignation plan underway, commercial rollout of LTE took place in Lombok on 6 July, with XL noting that the spectrum rearrangement process is on target for completion in November 2015. XL has begun rolling out its 4G LTE footprint with 232 sites by 30 June 2015, covering eight locations/cities including Medan, Bogor, Jogjakarta, Lombok, Surabaya, Bandung, Bali and Jakarta. Significant network additions will be done in H2 2015 in line with the ongoing 1800MHz spectrum rearrangement programme.
In total, XL had 54,550 base stations in service, including more than 17,000 3G BTS and 232 4G base stations, helping drive up smartphone penetration to 36% of the total user base of 46 million (down 27% y-o-y) at that date, and push ARPU up by 25% year-on-year to IDR30,000 per month, from IDR24,000 in 2014.