Axiata Group’s earnings report indicated that it will increase its Capex for 2019 to RM6.8 billion or $1.67 billion in 2019 from RM6.127 billion in 2018 and RM6.265 billion in 2017.
Axiata Group revenue grew 3.7 percent to RM25.3 billion in 2018 on the back of growth from most of its subsidiaries. EBITDA rose 2 percent to RM9.4 billion mainly from higher contribution by Robi, Dialog and XL.
“All six mobile subsidiaries performed the highest revenue growth in the industry and most performed the highest EBITDA growth,” Axiata Group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said during the earnings call today.
Celcom’s service revenue increased 1.1 percent amidst a stabilising competitive environment driven by growth in both post-paid and pre-paid business. Celcom’s post-paid ARPU rose RM5 to RM89, while pre-paid ARPU increased RM3 to RM35.
Celcom Axiata under the guidance of CEO Mohamad Idham Nawawi has added 169,000 customers taking Celcom’s post-paid subscriber base to 3 million. Celcom’s LTE coverage was at 91 percent, while LTE-A coverage reached 78 percent.
The annual Capex of Celcom fell to RM1056 million in 2018 as compared with RM1261 million in 2017.
XL posted 0.4 percent increase in revenue and 2.3 percent increase in EBITDA. XL posted loss of IDR3.3 trillion mainly due to impairment of assets from closure of legacy network. XL has 80 percent smartphone penetration. XL Axiata under the strategy of president director Dian Siswarini increased its data revenue to 80 percent of its service revenue.
The yearly Capex of XL increased marginally to RM2097 million in 2018 as compared with RM2072 million in 2017.
Smart as per the strategy of CEO Thomas Hundt has achieved 7.2 percent increase in revenue led by 28.3 percent growth in the data segment. Data accounts for 60 percent of total revenue of Smart. Cambodia revenue declined 2.4 percent to RM1,159.7 million due to unfavorable forex translation.
The Capex of Smart rose to RM297 million in 2018 from RM190 million in 2017.
Dialog service revenue rose 15.2 percent and EBITDA increased 17.4 percent, encouraged by higher data revenue from growth in smartphone penetration and 4G conversion, fixed home broadband and international business revenue. Dialog CEO Supun Weerasinghe was instrumental in achievement of 2.2 percent growth in total revenue to RM2,715.4 million in 2018.
The Capex of Dialog increased to RM766 million in 2018 as compared with previous year Capex of RM754 million.
Robi Axiata CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed was instrumental in achieving 9.5 percent increase in service revenue. Robi’s data revenue rose 26 percent in 2018. EBITDA rose 31.6 percent on the back of lower direct costs from lower material costs and reduction in interconnect charges. Robi revenue fell 10.1 percent to RM3,272.5 million due to unfavourable forex translation.
The Capex of Robi decreased to RM994 million in 2018 as against RM1140 million in 2017.
Ncell’s mobile revenue rose 5.4 percent and EBITDA grew 4.2 percent despite regulatory challenges, including the implementation of the Telecommunications Service Charge in July 2018 and increase in corporate tax.
Ncell MD Suren J. Amarasekera played a pivotal role in achieving the growth in data revenue. Ncell data revenue accounted for 23 percent of total revenue with the market’s smartphone rate improving by seven percentage points to 59 percent. Ncell Nepal revenue declined 12 percent to RM2,113.5 million, while EBITDA fell 16.6 percent to RM1,301.1 million.
The annual Capex of Ncell fell to RM153 million in 2018 as compared with RM484 million in 2017.