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Axiata quarterly earnings at RM256m, Div 5 sen

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by November 24, 2016 General
Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim: "Our quarter-on-quarter topline indicators improved due to Ncell’s first full quarter contribution."

Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim: “Our quarter-on-quarter topline indicators improved due to Ncell’s first full quarter contribution.”

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd posted earnings of RM256.56mil in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2016, which was an improvement on a quarterly basis as its South Asia operating companies turned out a stronger performance.

Axiata said on Thursday the OpCos which performed well were the Ncell, Dialog and Robi. It also declared an interim dividend of five sen a share.

Axiata president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim added: “Our quarter-on-quarter topline indicators improved due to Ncell’s first full quarter contribution as well as improvements in service revenue registered across all markets, including Malaysia and Indonesia. 

“At the same time, PATAMI for the quarter improved from lower depreciation and amortisation, net finance cost and forex losses. 

“However, 2016 remains challenging for the group across most of our markets particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and India where fiercer competition and rising capex have weighed in on overall performance and profitability,” he said.

Axiata group revenue grew by 2.8% to RM5.5bil from the preceding quarter, which was also its highest absolute quarterly revenue to date, driven mainly from its newest acquisition, Ncell in Nepal.  Axiata said Ncell y performed better than the investment plan in its first full quarter contribution.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up by 1.3% to RM2.1bil on the back of better performance from Ncell, Dialog, Robi and Smart. 

“Lower depreciation and amortisation and net finance cost, as well as lower forex losses led to the group’s profit after tax (PAT) improving by 27.3% to RM296mil for the quarter,” it said.

When compared to a year ago, its earnings were lower from the RM891mil. Earnings per share were 2.9 sen. 

“For year-to-date nine months (YTD) compared to the same period last year, revenue rose by 8.6% to RM15.77bil and EBITDA increased by 13.4% to RM6bil,” it said. PAT fell to RM929mil from RM2.1bil in the previous corresponding period. 

Axiata cited one-off tower gains recognised in XL in the previous year; incremental depreciation and amoritsation; higher net finance costs from XL’s refinancing of US$ debt to Indonesian Rupiah and the acquisition of Ncell; higher forex losses from the weaker ringgit as well as lower contribution from associates and joint ventures.

Axiata’s chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the group was pleased with the better sequential third quarter performance  in terms of improved revenue and EBITDA.

This despite the group performance continues to be affected by the weaker operating environment and increased competitive pressures across the markets. 

“We remain especially focused on management’s plans for recovery and turnaround strategies at XL and Celcom,” he said.

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