Telecom service provider Axiata Group today said its Capex (capital spending) in Q3 2014 rose 38.3 percent to $292 million or RM 975 million.
Axiata’s Capex increased 6.1 percent to $822 million or RM 2,749 million for the first nine months of 2014.
The telecom venture retained its Capex guidance of $1.32 billion or RM 4.4 billion for the current year.
Axiata said its third quarter revenue dipped 2 percent to $1,393 million or RM 4,653 million, while profit decreased 21 percent to $182 million or RM 607 million.
The company admitted that IT related issues impacted Celcom’s revenue. Axiata has also completed Celcom’s IT transformation that will enable the company to provide better customer services.
Data revenue grew 20 percent and small screen data rose 41 percent in the first nine months of the year, Axiata said.
Axiata president and group CEO Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim said despite the mixed quarter where it was impacted by the systems related issue and XL, data revenues continued to increase across all its growth and emerging markets.
He said the group was well positioned to finish the year on a stronger note as Axiata regained momentum at Celcom and XL was well placed after completion of Axis integration.
“Data remains a priority given the speed of growth, and is expected to grow faster across Axiata markets facilitated by higher smartphone adoption. To support this we will remain aggressive but targeted in our investments in data,” Jamaludin said.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, Axiata’s earnings dropped 11.1 percent to RM 1.753 billion from RM 1.974 billion in the previous corresponding period. Its revenue was slightly higher at RM 13.898 billion from RM 13.858 billion.
Malaysia’s gross revenue declined 4.3 percent in Q3 driven by decline in voice and SMS revenue by 6.9 percent and 30.6 percent respectively. Data segment partly compensated the revenue decline with growth of 22.1 percent, contributing 22.6 percent to total revenue.
Gross revenue of Indonesia decreased 4.5 percent mainly due to translation impact of a weaker IDR against RM.
Bangladesh posted revenue growth of 2.6 percent or 3.7 percent at constant currency. SMS and data revenue increased 27.6 percent and 136.3 percent respectively.
Sri Lanka’s gross revenue grew 5.5 percent on the back of 7.6 percent increase in mobile revenue. Operating costs increased by 6.3 percent due to higher customer related costs and regulatory costs.
Cambodia recorded a strong gross revenue growth for the quarter, resulting in higher EBITDA and PAT contribution to the group.
Associates and joint ventures contribution in share of profit increased from RM 52.0 million in Q3 2013 to RM 70.2 million in Q3, 2014 due to excellent performance by Idea Cellular in India.