Sri Lankan mobile operator Dialog Axiata has published its consolidated financial results for FY 2018, including the results of Dialog Axiata PLC (‘the Company’) and Dialog Axiata Group, which incorporates subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN), Dialog Television (DTV), Digital Holdings Lanka (DHL) and Dialog Finance (DFP).
The Group said it concluded December 2018 on ‘a strong note’, with each of its business divisions – mobile, fixed, digital play, TV, international and tele-infrastructure – performing well to record consolidated revenue of LKR109.2 billion (USD611.4 million), up 16% year-on-year, as EBITDA improved 29% on an annualised basis to LKR12.5 billion; Group EBITDA margin for FY 2018 was recorded at 40%. Dialog noted, however, that the Group’s EBITDA result was ‘significantly impacted’ by the continued depreciation of the local currency (rupee) against the US dollar, which resulted in a FY 2018 non-cash translational foreign exchange loss of LKR4.7 billion for the year. Consequently, net profit declined 30% y-o-y to LKR7.5 billion for FY 2018, within which 4Q18 net income slumped 95% to LKR100 million due to forex losses and higher depreciation. Full-year Group capital expenditure totalled LKR30.6 billion, up 12% y-o-y representing a CAPEX to revenue ratio of 28%, a significant portion of which was spent on improving its broadband infrastructure to consolidate its position in the local market. In the final trimester, for example, Dialog claimed it had commissioned ‘South Asia’s first fully functional and standards compliant 5G transmission using commercial grade base stations and end user devices’. The pre-commercial trial delivered speeds in excess of 2Gbps in a real-world setting.
At an entity level, meanwhile, Dialog Axiata (the Company) continued to contribute the lion’s share of Group revenue (77%) and Group EBITDA (70%). The Company generated full-year revenue of LKR84.5 billion, up 9% when compared to FY17, as the mobile subscriber base climbed to 13.8 million. Company EBITDA rose 13% on an annualised basis to LKR30.4 billion with an EBITDA margin of 36.0%.