Indonesian mobile operator Indosat Ooredoo reported a net loss of IDR605.6 billion (USD39.6 million) in the first quarter of 2020, compared to losses of IDR292.5 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, despite ‘record’ revenues of IDR6.52 trillion – up 10.6% from IDR6.05 trillion in 1Q19 – and a 10.4% rise in EBITDA to IDR2.38 trillion. Operating profit dropped 17.3% on an annualised basis to IDR196.3 billion as expenses widened to IDR6.33 trillion from IDR5.81 trillion in 1Q19. The higher expenses were primarily driven by ‘loss on foreign exchange due to IDR depreciation and higher financing cost on loans and lease liabilities, offset by gains on change in fair value of derivatives and higher interest income,’ it said in its Info Memo. First-quarter CAPEX stood at IDR634.1 billion (excluding IDR570.9 billion of ‘Right of Use Assets’), down 67.6% when compared to the year ago quarter, approximately 76.3% of which was allocated to cellular, to support data services demand and the remainder to MIDI, infrastructure and IT CAPEX.
The cellco, 65%-owned by Ooredoo Asia, reported 56.2 million mobile subscribers on its books at 31 March 2020, up 5.4% compared to 53.3 million at end-March 2019, while average monthly ARPU improved to IDR29,600 from IDR26,500 – its highest in the last five quarters – driven by a 63% rise in data traffic, a bigger 4G user base, and the success of its pricing initiatives. Post-paid ARPU rose 5.2% to IDR86,300 in the period under review, while pre-paid ARPU climbed 13.1% to IDR28,000. Average minutes of usage (MOU) per customer, however, fell 20.8% year-on-year to 29.2 minutes, which it claimed was ‘in line with the negative industry trend of traditional voice services’.
Indosat operated a total of 133,186 base transceiver stations (BTS) as of 31 March 2020, having added no fewer than 51,680 BTS in the last year. At the same date, Indosat operated a total of 29,993 2G BTS (up 8,949 y-o-y), 51,019 3G BTS (up 12,572) and 52,174 4G BTS (up 30,159).