Indonesian mobile operator XL Axiata reported a 2% year-on-year increase in turnover for the three months ending 31 March 2016, to IDR5.636 trillion (USD428.3 million), as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) surged 17% to IDR2.191 trillion, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 39% (up five percentage points). Net income (per share) for 1Q16 stood at IDR20 billion, reversing a net loss of IDR89 billion in the corresponding period a year before, which it said was positively impacted by the strengthening of the Rupiah against the US dollar. CAPEX of IDR1.1 trillion reflected, it said, ‘efforts to expand its data infrastructure and mobile services’ via internally generated funds. The carrier’s president and CEO, Dian Siswarini said: ‘We have made a promising start to 2016 with further improvements in our operating and financial performance and we hope to build momentum as we execute on our Transformation Agenda.’
4G LTE is seen as a major part of XL’s business strategy to consolidate its position as a key player in the mobile internet segment. Thanks to developments here, by end-March 2016 it had deployed 4G sites at 3,286 locations, with a network presence in over 36 cities and areas. XL also continues to invest in improving its network quality and coverage, it says, with more than 18,000 3G Node Bs at the end of March 2016, taking the carrier’s total BTS site footprint to 59,040. ‘In line with [the] strong take-up of 4G LTE and the increased adoption of data enabled phones, [XL has experienced] continued strong growth in data traffic. Data traffic grew by 94% y-o-y in 1Q16 compared with the same period last year, with total data users at 22.8 million, or 54% of the total base. The growth of smartphones has continued to drive the increase in data adoption in Indonesia. XL’s smartphone penetration has grown to … 48% of its base as at end of 1Q16. XL smartphone users grew 19% y-o-y and reached 20.5 million users,’ it reported. XL Axiata closed out March 2016 with a total of 42.5 million mobile users, down 19% from 52.1 million at end-March 2015, of which 42.0 million were pre-paid (down 19%) and 435,000 post-paid (up 2%).