Maxis net profit up 10.14% in 3Q17 despite challenging environment

Record high demand for data and high quality network create a high customer satisfaction score

By IZZAT RATNA / Pic By TMR

Maxis Bhd recorded a 10.14% rise in earnings for the July- September 2017 period, despite a challenging telecommunication environment with consumers hopping between operators to seek the best offers.

The country’s largest cellular operator based on market capitalisation posted RM554 million in quarterly earning for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017 (3Q17), compared to RM503 million during the previous corresponding period, boosted by higher revenue from the postpaid segment.

Revenue for the quarter rose 2.83% to RM2.2 billion compared to RM2.16 billion a year ago.

CEO Morten Lundal said the 3Q17 result showed it was a very strong quarter for Maxis, the highest quarterly profit in five years.

“Record high demand for data and our high quality network created an all-time high customer satisfaction score,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The telco also announced a third interim dividend of five sen per share.

The postpaid segment delivered a 9.3% rise in revenue or RM1.96 billion in 3Q17 compared to RM965 million last year, mostly helped by the almost two million MaxisOne plan’s customers with an average revenue per user (ARPU) of RM117 per month.

Normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 5% year-on-year (YoY) to RM1.2 billion in 3Q17 from RM1.14 billion previously. The higher earning was also helped by the telco’s cost optimisation initiatives.

Ebitda margin (on service revenue) was strong at 55.8% against 54.1% last year, while normalised profit after tax (PAT) rose 9.3% to RM562 million for the period under review, compared to RM519 million previously, on the back of higher Ebitda.

Service revenue grew 2% for the quarter to RM2.16 billion compared to RM2.11 billion a year ago.

Besides the strong contribution from the postpaid segment, the Hotlink Fast subscription grew to more than two million with the ARPU of RM43 monthly.

But intense pricing competition and SIM (subscriber identification module) consolidation lowered the prepaid segment’s revenue by 6% YoY to RM955 million from RM1.02 billion a year ago.

Data adoption continued to grow at a rapid pace with the average usage of 4G long-term evolution (LTE) users rising to 7.46GB from 4.4GB per month YoY, in tandem with an increase in the number of LTE users to six million in 3Q17 from 4.1 million in 3Q16.

Lundal said the company has invested RM647 million up to the 3Q this year to ensure customers continue to enjoy the best mobile streaming experience.

“Our industry leading 4G LTE network now covers 89% of the population. We brought MaxisOne Home Fibre Sabah and Sarawak this quarter — offering superfast home Internet speeds of up to 100Mbps, unlimited data, voice calls and professional WiFi setup.