Axiata's Q3 net profit eases to RM119.7mil

 Publish date: Thu, 28 Nov 2019, 4:36 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd’s net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2019 (Q319) fell to RM119.7 million from RM132.1 million in the same quarter last year.
Revenue, however, was 3.5 per cent higher at RM6.2 billion from RM6 billion previously, on better performance by all operating companies in Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Cambodia, the group said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.
It said XL Axiata in Indonesia recorded solid revenue growth of 16.7 per cent to RM1.91 billion, while Bangladesh’s Robi and Cambodia’s Smart Axiata posted a 10.1 per cent growth to RM937.5 million and 11.8 per cent growth to RM336.5 million, respectively.
Other operations - Malaysia (Celcom), Sri Lanka (Dialog Axiata) and Nepal (Ncell) - recorded a decline in revenue by 8.4 per cent, 4.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, during the quarter.
Axiata said the group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 29 per cent to RM2.8 billion.
This was driven by revenue growth as well as the group’s cost excellence initiatives, which resulted in RM816 million savings.
It said excluding the Malaysian Financial Reporting Standard 16’s (MFRS 16) impact and at constant currency of Q318, group EBITDA grew 9.8 per cent mainly attributable to revenue growth coupled with cost excellence programmes.
For the first nine-month period, Axiata registered a net profit of RM1.03 billion against a net loss of RM3.37 billion in the same period a year ago.
Revenue was higher by four per cent to RM18.32 billion from RM17.62 billion previously, thus expanding its EBITDA by 26.3 per cent to RM7.9 billion.
Its infrastructure operations, spearheaded by edotco Group Sdn Bhd, registered a revenue growth of 19 per cent year-to-date with positive contributions across its major footprints, while Boost, its lifestyle and leading e-wallet in Malaysia, has 4.7 million users and 112,000 merchants as of end-Q319.
Meanwhile, Analystics.data.advertising (ADA), Asia’s largest independent data-powered digital marketing agency, delivered its maiden profit in the quarter reviewed.
Apigate, Axiata’s application programme interface (API) platform has recorded an 88 per cent increase y-o-y in gross transaction value as of Q319.
In a statement, president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said the group’s performance showed it had successfully ‘shifted gear’ in the last nine months to take the lead among its peers in this region.
“I am particularly proud our operating companies emerged as the top in their respective markets in meeting most of the metrics in EBITDA, profit and cash for this quarter.
“Even as we aimed for profitability and cash generation, we did not sacrifice topline growth,” he said.
Jamaludin said Axiata had been working hard to step up on operational excellence across the group and maintained the gruelling momentum since unveiling its 2019-2020 plans.
“Given the current trajectory and barring unforeseen circumstances, we are likely to exceed targeted financial year 2019 headline key performance indicators for EBITDA growth of 5.0 per cent to 8.0 per cent, and return on invested capital of 5.2 per cent to 5.6 per cent.
“Revenue growth at three per cent to four per cent is likely to be below,” he added.
 - Bernama
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