DiGi’s profit posts marginal rise in 3Q18

BY FARA AISYAH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

DiGi.Com Bhd posted a net profit of RM392.54 million for the July-August 2018 period, higher than the RM384.62 million recorded a year ago, helped by higher consumer data consumption.

The mobile operator said revenue for the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18) increased 1.91% to RM1.6 billion from RM1.57 billion in 3Q17.

It said increasing data consumption would be critical to fuel growth across its postpaid and prepaid Internet business and new digital businesses.

The company’s customer base expanded to 11.8 million subscribers compared to 11.65 million in the previous quarter. Its subscribers were 11.85 million in 3Q17, according to figures released by DiGi.

CEO Albern Murty said the company is focusing on capturing data demand, while maintaining its margins.

“Our strategy is to focus on our postpaid, Internet and digital capabilities to efficiently deliver high-quality services to customers, while being financially disciplined.

“And we remain deeply committed to enable more Malaysians and businesses to benefit from relevant, affordable mobile and digital services across the country,” he said in a statement.

DiGi’s Internet subscriber base strengthened by 244,000 to nine million with data traffic volumes surging 60% year-on-year (YoY) and 14% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), while average monthly data usage among its subscribers soared to a record high of 9.1GB from 8.2GB in the preceding quarter.

During the quarter, the company registered a strong take-up and plan upgrades to its new high-value postpaid plans RM120/RM160/RM190 with device bundle and borderless roaming proposition.

The increased demand for DiGi’s high-value postpaid plans, as well as continued acquisition momentum in its entry level postpaid plans, contributed 75,000 net adds to reach 2.7 million postpaid subscribers along with a healthy average revenue per user (ARPU) of RM76.

The postpaid revenue growth rose 14.9% YoY and 3.4% QoQ to RM640 million, while postpaid Internet revenue rose 28.2% YoY and 4.5% QoQ to RM418 million.

Prepaid Internet subscribers increased to almost 6.6 million, while Internet revenue surged 9.6% YoY to RM399 million or 47.8% of prepaid revenue, although marginally lower QoQ due to weaker data monetisation as a result from intense data price competition and abundance data offers in the market.

Non-Internet prepaid revenue continued to drop due to moderating demand for legacy voice and messaging services and migration of prepaid subscribers to postpaid packages.

Prepaid revenue fell 9.1% YoY and 3.5% QoQ although prepaid subscriber base stabilised at 9.1 million and ARPU of RM31.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation remained robust at RM725 million or a 46% margin, although 2.4% lower sequentially, underpinned by investment into stronger postpaid growth and efficient cost management.

DiGi declared a five sen dividend to be paid on Dec 20, 2018.