Axiata’s India subsidiary drags profit lower for 3Q17 to RM238.5m


AXIATA Group Bhd’s revenue rose to RM6.2 billion for the July to Sept 2017 period, but profit dropped to RM238.5 million due to losses by its India’s Idea Cellular Ltd business and foreign exchange (forex).

Malaysia’s largest mobile network operator by market capitalisation, which recorded a profit of RM256.5 million a year ago, has been facing challenges for its India’s operation.

Revenue for the first nine months of 2017 (9M17) was up 15% to RM18.1 billion from RM15.8 billion recorded for the same period last year, according to the company’s filing to Bursa Malaysia.

The company said revenue growth was mainly driven by the data segment with data revenue contributing 44% of service revenue compared to 33% in year-to-date (YTD) 2016.

Quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) revenue improved 2.4% to reach RM6.2 billion, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew 8.9% to RM2.5 billion. Its profit after tax (PAT) was RM319.1 million.

Axiata said the company registered double-digit growth in all key indices as most operating companies performed better with the group-wide cost optimisation programme contributing close to RM1 billion.

“I am encouraged with the QoQ improvements at Celcom Axiata Bhd, although there is still more work to be done,” said Axiata president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim (picture).

He said that subsidiary edotco (M) Sdn Bhd’s sustained performance and drive for operational efficiencies have started to contribute significantly to the group’s financial performance.

Jamaludin said that Axiata’s group-wide cost optimisation programme has surpassed its full-year goal within the first 9M17, reaching RM160 million above the target.

The telecommunication company’s PAT improved by 14.1% to RM1.1 billion YTD, on the back of significant Ebitda improvements and forex translation gains.

Jamaludin said Axiata continues to be impacted by the continued disruption in the Indian mobile industry with Idea Cellular registering a negative contribution of RM156.4 million for the quarter.

He said the company remained very concerned with the Indian market.