Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata), the parent company of Celcom Axiata Bhd announced its Quarter 3, 2015 financial results last week. As of Q3 2015, Celcom Axiata has a total of 12.5 million (12,509) subscribers, up from 12.3 million in 2Q15.
Celcom added 218k new prepaid subscribers in 3Q15, driven by the Magic SIM prepaid plan, according to Axiata. The Telco now has 9.7 million prepaid subscribers. Postpaid subscribers are currently at 2.8 million (2,802) down from 2.85 million (2,851) in 2Q15.
As of Q3, ARPU for postpaid is at RM91 and RM32 for prepaid. 59% of Celcom subscribers are smartphone users.
“We believe Celcom’s decline is bottoming out and should start to improve in the coming quarters. Its focus is now on subscriber acquisition. Evident by this quarter’s net adds, we have seen good traction for its Magic Sim in the prepaid segment. It has also recently launched its First Blue and First Gold postpaid plans – which should help arrest this quarter’s churn.” according to the research arm of TA Securities Holdings Bhd.
Axiata said Celcom’s performance remains challenging but has generally stabilized and showing signs of regaining market confidence. Celcom rebounded from its two consecutive quarters of decline to record its first improvement in service revenue of 0.7% this quarter. QoQ data revenue grew 8.8%, while YTD mobile data revenue and mobile internet revenue grew 25.7% and 58.1% respectively.
For the quarter under review (3Q15), Celcom Axiata reported a revenue of RM1.8 billion.
Celcom’s quarterly EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) is at RM737 million and PATAMI (profit after tax, amortisation and minority interests) stood at RM408 million (normalised).
As for Axiata Group, quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) revenue is up by 7.6% to reach RM5.1 billion; earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) up by 8.7% to RM1.9 billion; and profit after taxation and minority interests (PATAMI) up by 45.9% to RM891 million.
Year-to-date (YTD) revenue for the Group grew by 4.5% to RM14.5 billion, whilst EBITDA and PATAMI increased by 1.7% to RM5.3 billion and 18.2% to RM2.1 billion respectively. PATAMI of RM2.1 billion registered for the period included recognition of gains from the disposal of towers in Indonesia in December 2014.
Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata commented, “This has been a steady but encouraging quarter for the Group. Dialog and Smart have performed exceptionally well. Celcom is regaining customers steadily while XL has started to reap benefits from the ongoing implementation of its transformation program”.
Jamaludin added, “Our focus is on Celcom’s recovery and XL’s transformation agenda. I am encouraged by the positive traction achieved so far but certainly a lot more needs to be done. Data will remain a priority and is expected to drive significant growth across the Axiata markets as smartphone penetration trends upwards. We are confident our aggressive investment in data will produce results in the medium term.”