Axiata Group-led Indonesian mobile operator XL Axiata booked revenue of IDR12.3 trillion (USD859.4 million) for the six months ended 30 June 2019, up 11% year-on-year, boosted by a 15% increase in service revenues and eclipsing market consensus expectations. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was reportedly 19% higher on an annualised basis, while the EBITDA margin edged up 2.7pp to 38.7% aided by lower interconnection charges. Net profit in H1 2019 stood at IDR291 billion, compared to IDR49 billion in the same period a year ago, as XL successfully implemented cost efficiencies and its dual-brand marketing strategies to bolster the bottom line. Monthly blended ARPU, meanwhile, improved to IDR34,000 from IDR31,000, which the cellco noted was the result of an uptick in data usage and ‘upselling of its customer base’.
XL Axiata closed out 30 June 2019 with a total of 56.6 million mobile subscribers (up 7% y-o-y), fuelled by bigger gains outside Java and an increase in smartphone users which now account for 86% of the base (Jun-18: 84%). At end-June XL Axiata reported almost 128,000 base stations on its network, a near doubling of the 66,400 reported in H1 2016.