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Digi has 11.7 million subscribers as of 1Q15, 4G LTE coverage at 33%

Digi reported its Quarter 1, 2015 financial results today. The Telco has a total of 11.7 million subscribers as of the end of March 2015. It added 270k subscribers (233k prepaid & 37 postpaid) in Q1, 2015. There are now 9,933 million prepaid subscribers and 1,758 million postpaid subscribers.

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ARPU for postpaid is at RM81 (RM83 in 4Q14) while prepaid is at RM39 (RM41 in 4Q14).

Internet penetration in the network is currently at 56.7% (6.6 million subscribers) with more than 65% (about 5.3k) of them are prepaid users. 44% of Digi Internet subscribers have data usage above 500MB.

Some 53.2% of Digi subscribers are smartphone users. Out of these, 19.4% are smartphone users with LTE enabled device. Digi sold 180,000 smartphones and devices in the quarter.

In terms of network, Digi has grown its 3G population coverage to 86.4% while steadily expanding its 4G LTE footprint to 33.3% population coverage at the end of the quarter.

During the quarter, Digi’s revenue grew by 4.2% to RM1.79 billion (Q1 2014: RM1.72 billion). However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and EBITDA margins leveled to RM775 million and 43% respectively (Q1 2014: RM778 million and 45%) due to seasonally higher device sales and impact from lower margins. Profit after tax (PAT) normalized to RM479 million during the first quarter (Q1 2014: RM485 million) in the absence of prior years’ tax benefits, it said.

Digi’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Albern Murty explained, “We have made strong inroads in bringing quality internet services to more Malaysians nationwide fueled by significant improvements in our network performance and coverage, the proliferation of a wider range of affordable smartphones bundles including choices under RM200, and innovative digital service offerings.

“These efforts have helped drive continuous growth in internet adoption, and encouraged ownership of more than one device which is connected to the internet.”

Murty reiterated Digi’s commitment to invest the same level it did in capital expenditure (Capex) in 2014 (RM904 million) to continue driving internet growth. He added, “We will continue to focus on delivering the best internet experience to more Malaysians by making access to the internet easy, seamless and enjoyable on our high-speed network, and with competitive smart device bundles and plans, and innovative digital service offerings. This combined with our deep customer-focused approach, and distinctive brand propositions will enable us to deliver our promise to customers, and drive continuous growth.”

The company announced that it will pay a first interim tax exempt dividend of 6.1 sen per ordinary share equivalent to RM474 million or 99% payout ratio to shareholders on 5 June 2015.

About Kugan

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