Sri Lanka’s largest cellco by subscribers Dialog Axiata has reported consolidated revenue of LKR63.3 billion (USD483 million) for full-year 2013, delivering year-on-year growth of 12%, whilst revenue for Q4 2013 climbed 1% quarter-on-quarter to LKR16.3 billion. Annual EBITDA rose 7% to LKR19.9 billion, although EBITDA margin declined by 1.5 percentage points to 31.5%. Q4 EBITDA contracted by 12% q-o-q due to higher cost base including escalation of network and other operating costs. Group net profit for FY 2013 was LKR5.2 billion, a decrease of 14% compared to 2012, inclusive of a provision for income tax of LKR1.1 billion, following the company completing a 15-year tax holiday at the end of December 2012.
At ‘company level’ (including mobile, international and wholesale infrastructure operations), Dialog’s revenue grew by 1% q-o-q – helped by reaching over eight million mobile subscribers – to LKR14.2 billion in Q4 2013, while FY 2013 revenue was recorded at LKR55.4 billion, up 11% compared to 2012. Company-level EBITDA for FY13 grew by 9% to LKR17.6 billion (EBITDA margin of 32%). Company-level net profit for Q4 2013 was down 8% q-o-q at LKR1.6 billion, while the figure fell 2% y-o-y to LKR6.1 billion in FY13, ‘due to the differential in exceptional charges and reversals recorded in the periods under comparison’. Following the expiry of the tax holiday in 2012, the company recorded a provision for income tax on the basis of 2% of revenue amounting to LKR277 million in 4Q13 and LKR1.1 billion in FY13. In December 2013 Dialog was appointed as the first authorised ‘Partner and Service Provider’ for Apple iPhone in Sri Lanka, following which 4G-compatible iPhones can now be connected on 4G mode to Dialog’s LTE network.
Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN), including the group’s fixed telecoms and broadband operations, recorded revenue of LKR5.8 billion for FY 2013, up by 15%, achieved mainly through the successful consolidation of subsidiary Suntel. DBN’s EBITDA contracted by 12% largely due to high network and other costs associated with fixed LTE services deployment. DBN posted a FY13 net loss of LKR483 million, compared to net loss of LKR120 million the previous year, attributed to additional depreciation charges accruing from build-out of the fixed 4G LTE network and the amortisation of spectrum licence fees associated with fixed 4G LTE spectrum assets. Pay-TV division Dialog Television (DTV) saw revenue growth of 21% to reach LKR3.6 billion in 2013, as its pay-TV subscriber base increased by 26% in twelve months to 332,000 at the end of December.
Group CAPEX for FY 2013 was recorded at LKR28.3 billion, which included the acquisition of spectrum for mobile 4G LTE services, the payment of spectrum re-farming fees to enable the conversion of frequencies amalgamated through the acquisition of local pay-TV firm ‘Sky TV’ for the purpose of augmenting DBN’s fixed 4G LTE spectrum, as well as mobile licence/2G spectrum renewal payments.