Sri Lankan operator Dialog Axiata reported revenue of LKR28.2 billion (USD153.5 million) for the April-June 2020 quarter, compared to LKR29.1 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, noting that the ongoing pandemic has had an adverse impact on its revenues while the provision for bad debt hit profits. EBITDA reached LKR10.7 billion, down 12% quarter-on-quarter and 3% on an annualised basis, as net profit for the period came in at LKR2.3 billion, compared to around LKR2.0 billion in 2Q19. Revenues from its key mobile operation declined while its fixed broadband grew and pay-TV segment held up, as people in lockdown reportedly accessed more of the company’s digital services to link with others and for entertainment. Nonetheless, Dialog Axiata said that its operations in the month of June had returned to ‘pre-pandemic levels’ while group earnings had been helped by ‘an unrealised foreign exchange gain resulted from the appreciation of the rupee’.
In the period under review, CAPEX investments were directed to driving demand for data services – as part of the carrier’s Data and Digitisation Initiatives plan. In the first six months of this year it spent LKR6.4 billion to help boost mobile 4G coverage to 93% of the population and fixed 4G coverage to 68%. The company closed out June 2020 with a total of 15.080 million mobile subscribers, up 5% y-o-y, while fixed broadband users rose to 649,605.
Dialog Axiata’s Malaysian parent, Axiata Investments (Labuan), owns 83.32% of the company while Sri Lanka’s Employees’ Provident Fund has a 2.92% stake, making it the second largest shareholder.