Axiata retains Capex spending for 2021

Axiata today revealed that there will be no material changes in Capex spending in operating companies during 2021.
Dialog Axiata Sri LankaAxiata is present in Asia through Celcom in Malaysia, XL in Indonesia, Dialog in Sri Lanka, Robi in Bangladesh, Smart in Cambodia and Ncell in Nepal.

Celcom’s revenue (ex-device) declined 8.8 percent YTD from lower prepaid and postpaid revenue and Average Revenue Per User dilution, cushioned by higher Home and MVNO revenue.

Celcom’s revenue has shown signs of recovery with revenue ex-device growth in Q3 and Q4 consecutively from the increase in subscriber base.

Celcom’s subscriber base gained positive traction rising by 306,000 to 8.7 million, surpassing the pre-pandemic level on the back of its “Truly Unlimited” prepaid plan and other subscriber initiatives. As of end 2020, more than 60 percent of Celcom’s Smartphone users have already adopted the Celcom Life App.

XL resisted COVID-19 impact and a price war to record 3.8 percent growth in revenue (ex-device), double-digit EBITDA and FCF growth driven mainly by effective opex management and optimal capex spend.

In FY20, data contribution to service revenue reached 92 percent. It ended the year with approximately 11 million MAU within the MyXL and Axisnet apps. Meanwhile, 4G data network development continued, and at end 2020, reaching 458 cities in various regions in Indonesia with more than 54,000 4G Base Transceiver Stations.

Dialog posted solid earnings growth for the year despite the pandemic. PATAMI grew 11.7 percent flowing through from EBITDA and lower net finance cost. Revenue (ex-device) grew 3 percent on the back of higher data revenue whilst EBITDA increased 8.9 percent with EBITDA margin expansion of 2.3 percentage points (ppt) to 42.3 percent driven by lower sales and marketing spend.

Robi overcame challenges through cost optimisation to deliver a commendable performance for FY20 as EBITDA rose 11.8 percent with 4.1 ppt margin improvement to 42.6 percent, driven by lower network, staff and other expenses. Despite lower voice revenue from lockdown impact, strong data growth improved Robi’s revenue (ex-device) by 1.4 percent.

Smart revenue (ex-device) grew 3.8 percent mainly due to reclassification in 4Q20, consequently leading to 17.6 percent growth QoQ. Excluding reclassification, revenue (ex-device) contracted 1.1 percent amidst reduced voice and inbound roaming revenue from lower travellers.

Ncell’s performance for the year was dragged by a prolonged COVID-19 lockdown and limited spectrum capacity. Revenue (ex-device) declined 22.6 percent as a result of lower Core and International Long-Distance usage as well as foregone revenue opportunities from free recharge bonus offered during the lockdown.

Ncell’s EBITDA dropped 25 percent affected by the fall in revenue and higher network costs among others. PATAMI fell 77.9 percent mainly due to the decline in EBITDA, coupled with higher net finance cost and asset write-offs.