Malaysian telecoms group Axiata has reported a 3.5% year-on-year increase in revenues for the quarter ended 30 September 2019, with turnover rising to MYR6.21 billion (USD1.5 billion) on the back of ‘better performance by most of its operating companies (OpCos)’. The group’s domestic unit, Celcom, was one of the exceptions, posting a 4.1% annualised drop in mobile service revenue, though Axiata claimed this decline was in line with the country’s wireless sector as a whole.
Meanwhile, Axiata’s EBITDA for 3Q 2019 rose by 29%, to MYR2.4 billion, driven by the growth in revenue and ‘cost excellence initiatives, which it claimed had resulted in savings totalling MYR816 million. While the group’s profit after tax (PAT) was reported to have increased by 33.5% to MYR247.6 million for the quarter, ‘as a result of better topline’, the company noted that profit after tax and minority interest (PATAMI) had, however, declined by 9.4%, to MYR119.7 million, due to the absence of M1’s contribution following its disposal, as well as higher taxes in Bangladesh and expense related to the proposed but abandoned merger with Telenor Asia.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Axiata’s president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said: ‘I am particularly proud our operating companies emerged as top in their respective markets in meeting most of the metrics in EBITDA, profit and cash for this quarter. Even as we aimed for profitability and cash generation, we did not sacrifice topline growth … Given the current trajectory and barring unforeseen circumstances, we are likely to exceed targeted FY19 Headline KPIs for EBITDA growth of 5%-8% and ROIC of 5.2%-5.6%. Revenue growth at 3%-4% is likely to be below.’