DiGi.Com Berhad (DiGi) announced that that as of the first quarter of 2014, its Internet customers grew to 4.0 million(active subscribers with internet usage of 50kB and above) from 3.0 million a year ago.
Henrik Clausen, Chief Executive Officer of DiGi explained that the healthy growth in internet revenue was fueled by higher usage and a bigger customer base in the internet segment. “Our focus in making access to internet services easy and relevant has encouraged stronger adoption among our 10.9 million customers, and an overall increase in new internet customers within our base. The introduction of our Best For Internet campaign offering flexible and bite-sized plans, comprehensive service bundles, and unlimited access to selected digital services, gave different customer segments customised options that better address their needs.
In Q1/2014, DiGi’s total mobile subscribers dropped to 10,885 million compared to 10,995 in Q4/2013. DiGi said this was “impacted by seasonal effects on churn and gross adds with continued pressure from levelling postpaid demand.” At the moment, DiGi has 9,199 million prepaid subscribers(9,295 million in Q4/13) and 1,687 million postpaid subscribers (1,700 in Q4/13).
ARPU is at RM41 for Prepaid and RM81 for Postpaid.
Based on a recent network survey by Respontrade, DiGi claims that it ranked #1 for consistent data speed in sampled hotspots in most key market centres. It also said that the network provided greater voice stability with visible periodic improvements in minutes per drop (MPD) rates by more than 60% since beginning 2012.
“Our stronger, more stable network, and expanded network coverage has also allowed us to bring high quality internet connectivity to more Malaysians, in more areas across the country. Our persistent focus on delivering quality experience for customers has resulted in significant improvements to our network performance. Our customers now enjoy more consistent data speeds with enhanced voice stability on our network, and this has helped stimulate usage of mobile internet among our base,” said Clausen.
During the quarter, DiGi expanded its 3G HSPA+ footprint to 82% of the population, increased its LTE sites in Klang Valley, Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu, and grew its fibre network to more than 4,100km. The mobile operator has committed to invest up to RM900 million in capital expenditure this year to strengthen its network.
Moving forwad, DiGi said that it will “carry on its relentless drive on delivering Best For Internet and Customer First aspirations through an integrated plan across customer service, sales and network.”
“In the coming months we will continue to introduce game-changing innovations that will allow our customers to enrich their internet experience on our brand new network. We will do this while driving deeper quality and focus on customer experience, and bringing internet services to more Malaysians,” Clausen added.
For the quarter under review, DiGi’s revenue grew by 4.3% to RM1.7 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at RM778 million, at a margin of 45%, while profit after tax (PAT) increased to RM485 million mainly due to stronger service revenue and improved cost structure.
DiGi announced that it will pay a first interim tax exempt dividend of 6.2 sen per ordinary share equivalent to RM482 million or 99.4% payout ratio to shareholders on 6 June 2014.