Malaysia-based Axiata Group has posted a 7.6% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenues to MYR5.1 billion (USD1.2 billion) in Q3 2015, whilst quarterly EBITDA grew 8.7% to MYR1.9 billion, and net profit attributable to controlling shareholders jumped 45.9% to MYR891 million for the July-September period. In the first nine months of the year, group revenue grew by 4.5% to MYR14.5 billion, whilst 9M15 EBITDA and net profit increased by 1.7% to MYR5.3 billion and 18.2% to MYR2.1 billion respectively. Net profit in January-September 2015 included recognition of gains from the disposal of towers in Indonesia in December 2014. The group attributed the encouraging traction in all its key metrics to steady operational performance at most of its subsidiaries, execution of turnaround strategies, and stronger revenue growth in reported currency helped by the weaker Malaysian ringgit, whilst it added that the upward trends were achieved despite tough competition and regulatory challenges within its operating region.
Axiata’s Malaysian unit Celcom posted its second consecutive positive net subscriber gain this year, adding 169,000 subscribers quarter-on-quarter in July-September on the back of a successful new product launch (‘Magic SIM’). Celcom also rebounded from two consecutive quarters of decline to record a 0.7% improvement in service revenue in Q3. The operator reported that in 9M15 mobile data revenue and mobile internet revenue grew 25.7% and 58.1% respectively, while smartphone penetration reached 59% at the end of September.
Indonesian cellco XL recorded revenue growth of 4.0% in 3Q15, driven by 5% higher q-o-q total service revenue (including 11% and 5% respective voice and data service revenue increases). XL’s EBITDA grew by 9.8% in the three months to the end of September 2015 whilst EBITDA margin strengthened by two percentage points to 37.5%. Subscriber mix improved with corresponding year-to-date blended ARPU increasing by 28%.
Sri Lankan operator Dialog Axiata registered year-to-date growth in revenue of 7.8% and EBITDA of 18.2%, boosting EBITDA margin by three percentage points to 33.8%, backed by revenue growth and cost management initiatives. Mobile subscribers grew q-o-q by 10% in Q3 and Dialog’s TV subscriber base increased 46% in the same period. Mobile data revenue was up by 63.0% in 9M15.
In Bangladesh, Robi Axiata recorded 3.5% higher revenue q-o-q and ‘normalised’ EBITDA, up by 12.1%. Performance for the quarter was driven mainly by seasonal Eid festivities which delivered accelerated growth in data revenue and device sales. Although competition continues to intensify in the Bangladesh market, Robi increased its subscriber base by 13.6% y-o-y to 28.4 million at 30 September 2015.