DiGi.Com Berhad recorded higher revenue of RM1,647 million in the first quarter of 2013, up 5% compared to the same period last year. This was mainly driven by mobile internet revenue which grew 55% year-on-year, from a larger base of 5.8 million mobile internet customers, including 3.0 million smartphone users.
For the quarter under review, DiGi’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was RM720 million, at a margin of 44%. Profit after tax grew by 3% year-on-year to RM329 million in the quarter mainly due to lower accelerated depreciation, the company said.
DiGi currently has about 10.4 million subscribers(10,372 million), slightly lower than what the operator had as of Q4 2012(10.5 mil). Based on the latest numbers, DiGi prepaid subscribers dropped from 8,823 mil prepaid subscribers as of end last year to 8,694 mil prepaid subscribers as of March 2013, a difference of 120,000.
DiGi said that the lower prepaid subscriber base is due to “Initiatives taken to drive quality subscribers from revision of SIM pack pricing and streamlining of sales acquisition” and “Higher prepaid rotational churn post year end festive period”.
As for postpaid subscribers, DiGi currently has 1,678 million customers, an addition of 7,000 new registration compared to the last quarter.
Prepaid ARPU currently stands at RM40 while Postpaid ARPU is at RM82.
Despite registering higher number of mobile internet users in the current quarter(5.8mil users), the number of DiGi’s broadband subscribers dropped in Q1. It currently has 262,000 of broadband customers compared to 273,000 customers it had last year.
DiGi revealed that it sold some 119,000 handset and device in Q1. The operator said that the higher numbers were driven by strong demand for iPhone 5 and Samsung Note II as well as the RM200 rebates on the purchase of smartphones(Pakej Komunikasi Belia).
As for the network, DiGi said that it successfully upgraded some 3,800 sites or 68% of the 5,500 sites nationwide and intends to launch LTE by end of June 2013.
Chief Executive Officer Henrik Clausen explained, “Steady revenue growth during the quarter was largely due to an increased focus on driving continuous quality improvements on our data network, expansion of our 3G footprint, and solid momentum made in our ongoing network modernisation programme. These efforts resulted in higher usage and a larger number of customers in the data segment during the quarter, while providing us with a strong foundation to continue delivering on our promise of mobile internet to more Malaysians, including making LTE available to our customers by the end of the second quarter.”
“During the quarter we also introduced new smart digital service bundles leveraging our strategic partnerships with international Over-The-Top (OTT) players like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to give customers richer mobile experience with relevant services. Additionally, we revamped our product line-up by bundling Postpaid Smart Plans with free voice and SMS and introducing the new DiGi Best Prepaid with free internet trial to give customers better value. These initiatives further encouraged internet usage and consequently strengthened mobile internet revenue for the quarter.”
On future prospects, the company said that the completion of key initiatives under its business transformation programme will enable it to capture a bigger share of data revenues and grow its business in the long term. The company is modernising its voice and data network, information systems and information technology infrastructure, and go-to-market channels, with key projects due for completion by end 2013.
DiGi announced that it will pay a first interim tax exempt dividend of 3.8 sen per ordinary share equivalent to RM295 million or 90% payout ratio payable to shareholders on 7 June 2013.