PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), the country’s largest communication services provider by subscribers and revenue, has published its financial results for January-March 2020. In its quarterly ‘InfoMemo’ the carrier highlighted that revenue fell by 1.9% year-on-year to IDR34.19 trillion (USD1.93 billion) from IDR34.84 trillion, and net profits declined 5.8% to IDR5.86 trillion from IDR6.22 trillion in 1Q19 despite surging demand for its IndiHome fixed broadband services, which rose 19.7% y-o-y to IDR5.07 trillion as subscribers surged 31.4% to 7.255 million. The telco also reported that EBITDA climbed 7.0% to IDR18.76 trillion, with an EBITDA margin of 54.9% (up 4.6 percentage points), while operating expenses fell 2.4% to IDR22.27 trillion. First-quarter CAPEX stood at IDR3.7 trillion it said, mainly to further improve 4G network quality and capacity, IT system enhancement, and to develop fibre-based access and backbone infrastructures.
Cellular arm Telkomsel said that revenues decreased by 1.6% y-o-y to IDR22.42 trillion, primarily the result of a continued decline in the legacy business (down 23.1%) due to ‘cannibalisation from instant messaging (OTT) applications’, which was partly offset by 16.3% growth within the Digital business to IDR15.83 trillion. The group also pointed out that there had been an ‘undeniable impact of COVID-19 outbreak since early 2020 on the overall society and economy also reflected in the current market dynamics as telecommunication industry has been no exception.’ Telkomsel reported a total of 162.567 million subscribers at the end of the period under review, down 3.6% y-o-y, of which 156.129 million were pre-paid users (down 4.2%). To help drive the Digital Business, in the first quarter of 2020 Telkomsel deployed around 7,000 4G base stations, increasing the on-air total to roughly 219,000 units. Meanwhile, Telkom’s fibre-based backbone length reached 164,900km by the end of 1Q20.