Malaysian telecoms group Axiata has released its financial results for the three- and twelve-month periods ended 31 December 2013, with the company saying it had seen ‘very strong performance’ at the majority of its subsidiaries, though gains were partly offset by foreign exchange movements.
For the three months of 2013 Axiata reported revenues of MYR4.512 billion (USD1.39 billion), up by 1.4% year-on-year, but representing a 5.0% decline from the previous quarter. For the group’s financial year, however, it recorded a 4.1% year-on-year increase in turnover, to MYR18.371 billion, while noting that at constant currency levels growth would have been 6.7%. Less impressive though was earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), which fell by 4.7% year-on-year in the last quarter to MYR1.710 billion, and by 2.1% in the fiscal year to MYR7.271 billion. Profit after tax and minority interest (PATAMI), meanwhile, stood at MYR576 million in 4Q 2013 and MYR2.550 billion in FY13, representing increases of 0.8% and 1.5% y-o-y, respectively. However, normalised PATAMI stood at MYR615 million in 4Q13 (down 5.7% against 4Q12) and MYR2.761 billion in FY13 (down 0.9%).
In terms of the performance of some its subsidiaries, the group’s domestic unit Celcom Axiata recorded a 4% increase in revenue, generating turnover of MYR8.025 million in FY13, while it was noted that data revenue had risen by 16%, helping to offset respective declines of 2% and 12% in voice and SMS revenues. Notably, Axiata highlighted the fact that the MYR2.089 billon PATAMI registered by Cellcom was the highest the unit had ever reported. By comparison, Indonesia’s XL saw flat revenues, reporting growth of just 0.3% to bring the total to IDR21.350 trillion (USD2.14 billion) for FY13, up from IDR21.278 trillion in 2012. EBITDA in the year under review declined by 11% y-o-y, mainly due to investment in data infrastructure and managed service fees, while profitability was further impacted by forex loss due to the weakening of the Rupiah.
In operational terms, at the end of December 2013 Axiata reported a group subscriber base of 243.8 million, representing a 18.7% increase from the 205.4 million customers it had on its books a year earlier. In its home territory Celcom was one of only two of the group’s units to record a drop in customers in the last quarter of the year, though this was attributed to ‘higher pre-paid rotational churn’; the 13.137 million subscribers that the cellco had at end-2013 was, however, a 5% y-o-y increase.