Forex gains boost TM 3Q earnings

By MARK RAO / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) reported a strong third-quarter (3Q) profit, largely helped by foreign-exchange gains (forex), while revenue was almost unchanged as the group tried to manage costs.

For the 3Q ended Sept 30, 2017 (3Q17), its earnings rose to RM211.82 million, a 32.5% jump compared to RM159.84 million recorded a year ago.

Turnover, however, was almost unchanged, inching 0.7% higher at RM2.94 billion compared to the same quarter last year.

TM said the higher profit was attributable to the forex gain on group borrowings recognised for the quarter compared to the forex losses posted a year ago.

However, operating profit for the group was down 14.6% year-on-year (YoY) at RM259.6 million as higher operating costs hurt margins.

Stronger turnover from the Internet and multimedia services business helped mitigate the higher costs incurred by the telecommunication company (telco).

TM’s Unifi customer base rose from 921,144 subscribers in 3Q16 to 1.06 million in 3Q17.

“This is the highest quarterly Unifi net addition we have achieved since 3Q12,” TM group CEO Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly (picture) said in a statement yesterday.

“To date, more than 94% of our Unifi customers are on 10Mbps and above packages compared to only 75% last year.”

He said TM achieved its 8% household penetration target for the year ahead of schedule.

The company also recorded a higher revenue from its wireless mobile service arm webe in 3Q17.

However, its TM ONE service registered lower revenues and profit for the quarter due to weaker contributions from other telcommunication, data and voice services.

TM GLOBAL, the international wholesale arm of TM, also registered lower turnover on data revenue, though turning in stronger profit due to reduced operating costs.

For the nine-month period, revenue was up 0.7% YoY at RM8.88 billion on the Internet and multimedia services division, while net profit rose 5% to RM652.73 million.

TM said it expects to maintain a sustainable performance in 4Q17.

“We are progressing well in executing Perfexe 10 to quicken our pace in accelerating convergence and empowering digitisation,” he said.

“We have firmly embedded our aspirational targets in our business planning and will continue to roll out our various initiatives, with very precise execution plans.”

TM’s share price closed 15 sen lower at RM6 yesterday with 4.42 million shares traded.