Indonesia’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers XL Axiata, majority-owned by Axiata Group through Axiata Investments (Indonesia), has reported a 2% fall in net income for the twelve months to 31 December 2012 to IDR2.77 trillion (USD288.36 million) from IDR2.83 trillion in FY11. Further, the carrier said that excluding the impact of unrealised FOREX transactions, severance payment provisions and accelerated depreciation, its income before amortisation of intangible assets for last year was down 9% at IDR2.88 trillion. Group operating costs rose 26% year-on-year in fiscal 2012 to IDR11.2 trillion, Axiata said, due to higher 3G network expenditure, SMS interconnection costs, and increased payments to RIM due to higher BlackBerry usage.
Full year revenue of IDR21.28 trillion was a 15% improvement on the IDR18.47 trillion figure booked in FY11, driven by a 17% expansion in mobile revenue to IDR19.60 trillion. EBITDA meanwhile, grew by 4% year-on-year to IDR9.75 trillion; EBITDA margin contracted five percentage points to 46% on the back of higher SMS interconnection charges, CAPEX outlay and a change in revenue mix from voice/SMS to data. On a more positive note, data usage more than doubled in FY12 as the number of data subscribers rose to 25.6 million by the year end. Axiata said that the rise in data usage is reflected in revenue from such services now contributing 20% of total revenue, up from 15% in 2011. In FY13 the group expects data to contribute 22%-23% of revenue. The mobile operator closed out 2012 with a total of 45.8 million mobile users, down 1% y-o-y; monthly blended ARPU was unchanged at IDR31,000.
In a related development, XL Axiata has announced plans to refinance IDR4.5 trillion worth of debts maturing in 2013, the Jakarta Post quotes its head of investor relations, Feiruz Ikhwan, as saying. At end-2012 Axiata’s outstanding debts totalled IDR13.5 trillion – two-thirds of which are due to mature in 2014 and 2015. The company will seek bank loans to refinance its debt, although its president Hasnul Suhaimi has not ruled out a bond sale – should market conditions prove favourable. XL Axiata is looking to invest between IDR8 trillion and IDR9 trillion in its networks and services this year, of which 70% will be set aside for improving its data-related infrastructure.