In publishing its financial results for three month period ended 31 March 2021, Malaysia’s Axiata has reported what it called ‘an encouraging start’ to the year. With revenues totalling MYR6.064 billion (USD1.46 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, up +0.5% compared to the corresponding period a year earlier, attributed to the ‘resilient performance from most of its operating companies (OpCos)’, except XL Axiata in Indonesia and Ncell in Nepal, both of which were said to have faced ‘intense competitive pressures’.
Axiata’s reported EBITDA for 1Q21 stood at MYR2.692 billion, up from MYR2.504 billion in the opening quarter of 2020, mainly driven by local operating company Celcom and Axiata Digital, but offset by foreign exchange translation impact linked to the strengthening of the Malaysian ringgit against OpCo currencies. Meanwhile, Axiata recorded a net profit after tax and minority interests (PATAMI) of MYR76 million, notably lower than the MYR188 million reported in 1Q20, with the company saying the financial metric had been affected by lower one-off gains and accelerate depreciation of Celcom and Bangladesh-based Robi.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Dato’ Izzaddin Idris, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata said: ‘The encouraging start to the year, as reflected by steady EBITDA growth and improved profitability is testimony that we have the right strategy in place to support our immediate to mid-term goals. I am particularly assured to see our operating companies rise up to the challenges of intense market pressures, to exhibit resilience in their capacity to stay competitive and operationally efficient.’