Axiata Struggles in Malaysia, Indonesai; Grows Strongly Elsewhere

Axiata Group Berhad revenue year to date in 2015 was described as “improved” in its most-recent financial report.

Year-to-date (YTD) revenue for the Group was up 2.3 percent to RM9.5 billion from RM9.2 billion a year ago. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of RM3.5 billion was slightly lower than the year-ago period.

Group profit after tax improved 2.8 percent. After-tax profit was up 34.2 percent year over year.

Axiata serves about 12.3 million customers in Malaysia, down from 13.4 million in the second quarter of 2014, but still generates about 38 percent of its revenues in Malaysia.

Competition is a major issue. Currently Indonesia's third-biggest mobile operator, Axiata’s XL unit lost subscribers. In the second quarter, XL had 46 million customers, down from 62.9 million in the same period last year.

In local currency terms, revenues have dropped from 6.1 trillion Indonesian rupiahs ($439 million) to IDR5.6 trillion ($403 million) over the same period.

Axiata's performance in the much smaller markets of Sri Lanka and Cambodia stood in sharp contrast to the setbacks at home and in Indonesia.

Sri Lanka's Dialog grew revenues to 17.7 billion Sri Lankan rupees ($130 million), from SLR16.7 billion ($120 million) in the second quarter of 2014, and saw its customer base grow from 9.3 million to 10.1 million subscribers over the same period.

In Cambodia, revenues grew from MYR270 million ($65.4 million) in the first six months of 2014 to MYR420 million ($101.7 million) in the same period this year.

Axiata was also boosted by the performance of Idea Cellular Ltd. , one of India's biggest mobile operators, in which it owns a stake of about 20 percent.

Fueled by growth in India's burgeoning mobile data market, Idea reported a 14% percent year-over-year increase in revenues in the April-to-June quarter.

In its home market, Celcom data revenue grew 28 percent year to date. Mobile internet revenue grew 60 percent. Service revenue dipped slightly mainly due to the decline in voice and SMS revenue, however.

Sri Lanka Dialog posted strong year to date  revenue growth of 6.3 percent, EBITDA growth of nearly 20 percent and profit growth of nearly 33 percent.

Robi6 in Bangladesh recorded 4.9 percent year to date  revenue growth to BDT25.1 billion, mainly driven by data revenue and device sales.

The Smart operation in Cambodia saw revenue growth of  39.1 percent. Voice revenue increased 15 percent while data revenue grew 115 percent. T

India Idea saw 16.4 percent growth for its YoY revenue to INR88.0 billion. EBITDA grew nearly 29 percent while profits after taxes grew nearly 28 percent.

In Singapore M1 operating revenue grew 19.1 percent to SGD571.7 million YTD while EBITDA gained 1.4 percent, while profit after taxes grew  3.8 percent.
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