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Celcom still No.1 Telco with 13.4 million subscribers, CEO not joining MAS

Celcom Axiata Berhad Celcom is still the No.1 Telco in Malaysia with 13.4 million mobile subscribers, the highest in the country.

 (L-R) Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Wong Chui Fen, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Christopher Tiffin, Chief Financial Officer at Celcom Axiata Berhad’s Q2 2014 financial performance media briefing.

(L-R) Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Wong Chui Fen, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Christopher Tiffin, Chief Financial Officer at Celcom Axiata Berhad’s Q2 2014 financial performance media briefing.

In response to MalaysianWireless , the Celcom CEO denied media reports of joining MAS as the new CEO. “That’s completely untrue, I am not leaving,  my blood is still “blue”. I still need to deliver another 5 years at Celcom”, he told MalaysianWireless at the Q2 2014 financial media briefing.

As of June 2014, Celcom has about 10.5 million prepaid and 2.9 million postpaid subscribers. There are 1.3 million broadband subscribers. ARPU for postpaid is RM85 while prepaid is at RM35.

About 37% of Celcom’s subscriber base are smartphone users, including some 3.7 million Android and 400,000 iOS devices detected in the network. Celcom also revealed that its MVNO, Tune Talk has more than 1 million subscribers while Merchantrade Asia has about 900,000 subscribers. The other Celcom MVNOs are Altel, redONE, Smart Pinoy and XOX.

This year, Celcom will be investing RM250 million to improve its QoS and address industry issues including dropped calls, congestion and the quality of broadband services. In addition, Celcom said it 4G LTE roll out is progressing well and the steady progress in network optimization and LTE expansion is in line with the growing demand for data. To date, Celcom has 1,200 LTE sites ready in line with MCMC guideline. Some 2,014 LTE sites are expected to be activated by year end.

Moving forward, Celcom said it has prioritized the enhancement of its network quality as it heads toward the second half of the year. This includes ensuring its LTE advancement and network optimization programme progress according to plan to improve network quality and capacity for greater customer data experience.

Operationally the ongoing IT and business transformation exercise aims to facilitate seamless integration across multiple channels to enhance customer experience. The large-scale programme requires complex and comprehensive planning.  It involves multiple facets to ensure the successful implementation of the transformation. The ongoing IT transformation has limited the launching of new products, and will be addressed in a phased approach to be concluded in 2014. Celcom will be launching new postpaid plans in the final quarter this year.

For Q2 2014, Celcom achieved a revenue of RM1.95 billion, an increase of 2% from the previous quarter’s revenue of RM1.91 billion, with a year to date (YTD) revenue of RM3.86 billion.

Celcom maintained a healthy quarterly EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of RM846 million, and a stable EBITDA margin of 43.4%.

Meanwhile, Celcom’s quarterly PATAMI (profits after tax, amortisation and minority interests) increased 0.6% to RM518 million.  Celcom said it will continue with its smarter spend, focusing especially on discretionary expenditure.

Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom said, “Celcom has always been committed in fulfilling our customers’ needs by delivering the highest level of quality in our products and services. Meeting our customers’ expectations is key to our success and it is important that we build a trusted relationship with our customers to better understand their needs.

“Celcom is undergoing a major transformation of business from people, process and technology perspectives.  As such, each aspect of the business is being revamped to create better customer experience and establish platform for growth.  It is a major undertaking and it spans all our touch points – dealers, customer care and retail outlets. As part of any major transformation of this sort, some business interruption is expected because it takes some time to operationalize the new and improved processes and systems in the business. We have completed the two year project and are at the tail end of the stabilization period.

Hence, we are maximizing our diverse resources, ranging from infrastructure, people and culture to foster innovation and excellence to accelerate the company’s growth. Celcom is optimistic in realizing our goal of leading the way through our transformation initiative to effectively build a customer-centric approach and deliver the ultimate customer experience,” Dato’ Sri Shazalli added.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy