Axiata business performance in first quarter

Axiata Group has revealed the revenue of Celcom in Malaysia, XL in Indonesia, Dialog in Sri Lanka, Robi in Bangladesh, Smart in Cambodia and Ncell in Nepal during the first quarter of 2020.
Dialog Axiata Sri LankaAxiata Group revenue grew 1.5 percent to RM6 billion in Q1 2020 on a reported basis in the wake of the spread of Corona-19 virus. Group EBITDA increased 3.4 percent to RM2.5 billion due to improved operational performance from all Operation companies except Ncell and Axiata Digital.


Celcom’s mobile service revenue declined 7 percent affected by lower customer acquisition in pre-paid and slower pre-paid to post-paid migration. Celcom’s EBITDA grew 7.8 percent due to lower direct and sales and marketing costs, driving EBITDA margin expansion of 5.1 percentage points. FCF increased 34.7 percent largely from 46.9 percent lower Capex.

XL’s revenue rose 8.8 percent on the back of strong data monetisation, as Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) rose 9.1 percent to IDR36,000. Cost optimisation and IFRS adjustments led to double-digit EBITDA growth of 39.7 percent with 10.9 ppt margin improvement to hit 49 percent.


Dialog’s revenue and EBITDA remained largely flat, with EBITDA margin sustained at 41.6 percent. FCF grew 7.9 percent, on the back of lower Capex amidst flat EBITDA growth.


Robi revenue grew 7 percent fueled by strong data growth of 28.8 percent as ARPU increased 0.8 percent to BDT124. As a result of high operating leverage and lower staff costs, EBITDA grew faster than revenue at 10.1 percent improving margins by 1.3 ppt to 40.4 percent. FCF declined 95.2 percent driven by 152 percent higher Capex as Capex rollout accelerated post delays in 2019.


Ncell’s revenue declined 11 percent, dragged by 9.7 percent drop in core revenue impacted by slower data adoption due to capacity constraint from the delay in spectrum assignment and intense price competition from fixed ISPs. EBITDA fell 16.3 percent primarily from decrease in revenue coupled by higher direct costs.