Indonesian mobile network operator (MNO) XL Axiata has published its financial results for the six months ended 30 June 2018, with revenue of IDR11.06 trillion (USD770.1 million) representing a 1% increase on the figure of IDR10.95 trillion booked in H1 2017. In January-June 2018, XL Axiata said that revenue growth was driven by Data revenue, which increased 19% year-on-year and which now accounts for the majority of service revenue (79% in 2Q18 compared to 67% in the same quarter a year ago). XL Axiata claims that the high percentage rate is better than that being achieved by its peers, which has helped it ‘to weather the negative effects of declining legacy [voice] telephony services better than others’. First-half EBITDA, meanwhile, also increased, by 2% y-o-y to IDR3.99 trillion from IDR3.92 trillion, with the EBITDA margin rising to 36.0% ‘driven by the improvement in revenues and focus on cost efficiencies’.
Operationally, XL closed out 30 June 2018 with a total of 52.9 million mobile subscribers, up from 50.5 million a year earlier, of which 40.8 million were recorded by XL as using smartphones (up 21% y-o-y). Average revenue per user (ARPU) in 1H18 was reported at IDR31,000 (down 9%), with post-paid ARPU declining more sharply than pre-paid ARPU. XL Axiata said its 4G LTE network covered 380 cities/districts in almost all provinces of Indonesia at end-June 2018, supported by nearly 25,000 4G base transceiver stations (BTS) and over 49,000 3G BTS. Total BTS, including 2G GSM, was 111,786 (+20%).
According to XL Axiata’s CEO Dian Siswarini, performance in the first six months of 2018 reflected ‘the dynamics of an increasingly competitive industry, coupled with structural changes in the pre-paid market in the form of pre-paid SIM registration obligations’.