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Digi added more subscribers in 1Q16, now at 12.3 million

Digi reported its First Quarter 2016 (1Q16) financial results last Friday. The Telco added 211k new subscribers in 1Q16, now with a higher subscriber base of 12.3 million (12,336).

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There are 1.9 million Digi postpaid subscribers, up from 1.84 million subscribers in 4Q 2015. It added 62k postpaid subscribers.

For prepaid, Digi added 149k prepaid subscribers in 1Q16, totaling up the prepaid base to 10.4 million (10,434).

However, prepaid ARPU was at RM35, down from RM38 in Q4 2015. Postpaid ARPU remained stable at RM80.

There are 7.9 million mobile internet users representing 64.2% of total subscribers. About 61.3% Digi subscribers are smartphone users. Digi said it sold 66k smartphone and device in 1Q 2016.

In terms of network, Digi claims that its 4G LTE network has a 73% human population coverage, measured at the lowest signal quality of -110dBm. It is now available in 153 major cities and towns, with key market centres averaging 95% population coverage. Digi’s 4G LTE-Advanced (4G LTE-A) network has a 33% coverage footprint, reaching an average 50% population coverage in key market centres.

The Telco said that it now has 2.9 million 4G LTE users.

For the quarter under review, service revenue maintained at RM1,560 million against “challenging and competitive market conditions”. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) strengthened to RM704 million (Q4 2015: RM701 million) or a 43% margin despite aggressive IDD competition and moderated data monetisation opportunities. Profit After Tax (PAT) surged 4.5% to RM399 million during the quarter (Q4 2015: RM382 million).

Digi’s Chief Executive Officer Albern Murty attributed the performance to customers’ growing confidence in the company’s “widest 4G LTE network and ability to deliver more value, access and relevant internet content to meet its customers’ needs”. He said, “Our focus on network quality has enabled more customers to better enjoy our new innovative 360º internet offerings. We now have a stronger proposition for customers who would have never considered Digi’s services in the past given our solid history of providing competitive prepaid services, an area where we continue to remain resilient.”

In Q1 2016, Digi’s postpaid service revenue registered a growth of 6.9% year-on-year and 3.1% quarter-on-quarter while its postpaid subscriber base strengthened 8.2% year-on-year to 1.9 million subscribers. Postpaid Internet subscribers increased to 1.5 million, representing 80.3% of the company’s postpaid subscriber base and contributed to sequentially higher postpaid Internet revenue of RM207 million (Q4 2015: RM197 million).

“Moving forward, we will continue meeting the needs of our customers’ digital lifestyles, leveraging on our solid network as the vehicle to bring relevant, personalised and engaging digital products and services to our customers, while keeping a keen eye on service quality and customer excellence.” He said that strengthening and enabling profitability from the company’s core business, and unlocking new digital opportunities will drive greater smartphone adoption, incremental data consumption for every wallet size, stimulate digital traction and fuel service revenue in the year ahead.

Digi declared a first interim dividend of 5.1 sen per ordinary share equivalent to RM397 million or almost 100% dividend payout for the quarter, payable to shareholders on 24 June 2016.

About Kugan

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