Axiata to lower network Capex against earlier plan of RM6.8 bn

Axiata, which has a strong presence in several countries in Asia, today said it will lower its Capex for 2019 against the earlier guidance of RM6.8 billion or $1.62 billion.
Axiata group Capex Q2 2019

Axiata’s main operations in Asia are through Celcom in Malaysia, XL in Indonesia, Dialog in Sri Lanka, Robi in Bangladesh, Smart in Cambodia and Ncell in Nepal.

Axiata said the reduction in Capex in telecom networks is in line with the company strategy — Shifting Gear — to rationalize expenditure.

Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim is the president and group CEO of Axiata. Vivek Sood is the group CFO of Axiata.

The Asian telecom operator has achieved 38.1 percent EBITDA margin by registering 3.3 ppt EBITDA margin growth during the second quarter of 2019. EBITDA of Axiata increased 13.1 percent to RM2.3 billion due to higher revenue and cost excellence.

Axiata said in a statement issued on Thursday that it is likely to exceed its 2019 headline KPIs for EBITDA growth and ROIC.

Axiata said revenue rose 3.7 percent to RM6.2 billion in Q2 2019 due to better performance from all operating companies apart from Celcom and Ncell.

Celcom Malaysia

Celcom Malaysia said its revenue dropped 8.3 percent to RM1,663.5 million due to lower device sales, coupled with the downward revision of domestic interconnect and domestic roaming rates. EBITDA of Celcom Malaysia grew 43.5 percent to RM710.1 million and registered EBITDA margin of 42.7 percent.

Celcom Malaysia’s Capex was RM517 million in Q2 2019 as compared with RM496 million in Q2 2018. Celcom Malaysia said it lost mobile subscriber base that reached 8.776 million in Q2 2019 from 8.948 million in Q1 2019. 76.2 percent of its subscribers are data customers on its network.

XL Indonesia

XL Indonesia’s revenue grew 16.2 percent to RM1,824 million on the back of strong data growth. EBITDA rose 54.1 percent to RM941.4 million. PAT of XL Indonesia increased significantly to a net profit of RM43.0 million as opposed to net loss of RM28.7 million in Q2 2018.

XL Indonesia’s Capex was RM947 million in Q2 2019 vs RM953 million in Q2 2018. XL increased its mobile subscribers in Indonesia to 56.559 million in Q2 2019 as against 55.059 million in Q1 2019. 88 percent of its subscribers are data customers on its telecom network in Indonesia.

Robi Bangladesh

Robi in Bangladesh clocked revenue growth of 17.7 percent to RM914.4 million contributed by strong growth in all segments. EBITDA improved from RM147.5 million to RM414.8 million quarter-on-quarter due to higher revenue coupled with lower operating expenses.

Robi Bangladesh’s Capex touched RM283 million in Q2 2019 as compared with RM500 million in Q2 2018. Robi has increased its mobile subscriber base to 47.939 million in Bangladesh in Q2 2019 from 47.341 million in Q1 2019. 62.8 percent of the customers of Robi are data subscribers.

Dialog Sri Lanka

Dialog in Sri Lanka registered 2.9 percent growth in revenue to RM686.4 million. EBITDA dropped 4 percent to RM261.6 million mainly due to higher network cost. Dialog Sri Lanka’s

Capex of Dialog Sri Lanka has reached RM192 million in Q2 2019 as compared with RM328 million in Q2 2018. Dialog has increased its mobile subscriber base in Sri Lanka to 14.394 million in Q2 2019 from 14.275 million in Q1 2019. 33.4 percent of Dialog customers are on data customers.

Ncell Nepal

Ncell in Nepal said its revenue dropped 6.1 percent to RM520.8 million due to a decline in almost all revenue segments as impacted by changes in Telecommunication Services Charge in Nepal since July 2018. EBITDA dropped 15.6 percent to RM294.6 million. PAT fell 18.4 percent quarter-on-quarter to RM154.0 million.

Ncell Nepal’s Capex touched RM266 million in Q2 2019 as against RM44 million in Q2 2018. Ncell has increased its mobile subscriber base in Nepal to 16.594 million in Q2 2019 from 16.427 million in Q1 2019. 48.4 percent of the mobile phone customers of Ncell are on data plans in Nepal.

Smart Cambodia

Smart Cambodia said its revenue grew 15.1 percent to RM326.4 million aided by demand in data. EBITDA grew 33.1 percent to RM170.9 million. PAT increased 13.3 percent to RM73.9 million. Smart Cambodia’s Capex touched RM176 million in Q2 2019 as compared with RM122 million in Q2 2018.

Axia said it gained RM96.1 million or INR1,617.4 million by selling its balance stake in Vodafone Idea, a leading telecom operator in India, during the rights issue in April.