Malaysian telecoms group Axiata generated a record turnover of MYR19.883 billion (USD5.12 billion) in 2015, up 6.3% y-o-y, despite what it called a ‘challenging year’ for domestic unit Celcom. The group noted that this increase had been driven by both the performance of its subsidiaries and forex translations gains. EBITDA in the period totalled MYR7.284 billion, representing an annualised increase of 4.1%, with an EBITDA margin of 36.6%. Correspondingly, profit after tax and minority interest (PATAMI) was up by 8.0% y-o-y, reaching a record high of MYR2.626 billion. Capital expenditures for the group in 2015 totalled MYR4.880 billion, up from MYR4.017 billion a year earlier.
For its part, Celcom’s overall recovery was said to have been hampered by a ‘flat growth market’, despite which the unit recorded its first positive revenue growth in a year, with turnover rising by 1.0% in 4Q 2015 from the previous quarter. However, with this rise mainly attributed to the higher device sales, Axiata noted turnover in the full year period was down by 5.1% y-o-y at MYR7.345 billion. Indonesia’s XL also saw lower turnover in FY15, reporting a 2.6% decline from the previous fiscal year to IDR22.960 trillion (USD2.29 billion). More positive results were forthcoming from the group’s Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan subsidiaries though, with these reporting annual increases in revenue of 6.0% (to BDT52.395 billion in FY15) and 9.9% (SLR73.930 million), respectively.
Commenting on the financial performance, in a press release the company noted: ‘The Group’s key topline numbers improved for the year from a good final quarter performance in revenue, as well as excellent operational performance as seen by most of its operating companies, solid execution of turnaround strategies, stronger overall data growth and further supported by stronger currencies against the Ringgit.’
Looking ahead, Axiata has forecast revenue growth of 9.8% for 2016 (based on constant currency), while EBITDA is expected to increase by 13.7%. Capex, meanwhile, is expected to total MYR5.5 billion.