Celcom Axiata Berhad announced today that it has 9.93 million mobile subscribers as of Quarter 2, 2017 (2Q17), down from 10.25 million mobile subscribers it had in 1Q17. Celcom is a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad.
In 2Q17, between April 2017 and June 2017, Celcom lost a total of 317k subscribers in the quarter including some 287k prepaid and 30k postpaid subscribers. The Telco now has 2.92 million postpaid subscribers and 7.01 million prepaid subscribers.
Despite the lower number of subscribers, the Telco reported higher ARPU at RM82 for postpaid (vs RM81 in 1Q17) and RM31 for prepaid (vs RM30 in 1Q17).
In 2Q17, Celcom’s service revenue and total revenue stood at RM1.495 billion and RM1.621 billion – an increase of 1.4% and 0.7%, respectively.
In a media statement, Celcom said “Despite industry challenges, Celcom continued to stabilise with a strong overall data performance in 2017. Its data revenue soared 27.6% year-on-year (YoY) to RM706mil, contributing 43.5% to the company’s total revenue.”
Data consumption rose 23.2% in 2Q17 to 6.2GB, per month per active data user, compared to 5.0GB (1Q17). This was supported by a higher smartphone penetration of 69% from 66% in 1Q17. Some 65.3% of Celcom’s mobile subscriber are data (Internet) users.
Normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) totalled RM630 million, a 7.2% increase QoQ from RM587 million. Celcom delivered normalised PATAMI (profit after tax, amortisation and minority interests) at RM331 million, a 22.9% increase from RM269 million QoQ.
CAPEX guidance (capital expenditure) remains at RM1.5 billion for this year, of which investments for ongoing network expansion will be around RM1billion within the approved budget.
Michael Kuehner, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad said “We are making steady progress, further cementing our position in the market. We have improved the way we approach our consumers’ needs and have streamlined our financial and operational management – measures that will sustain Celcom’s continued growth,”
On factors influencing the improved quarter, Michael said the Celcom sales and distribution ecosystem played a role, as it was continuously strengthened throughout the quarter, resulting in an improvement of Celcom’s base of active dealership.
“We had also initiated the dealer digitisation programme which not only improved the availability overall, but also enabled a better dealer experience in terms of acquisition and mobile internet provisioning at retail outlets,” he said.
For network updates, Michael said Celcom will deliver on its promise for best video experience, noting that Celcom’s LTE population coverage has reached 77%, at the end of the second quarter.
On the recent spectrum refarming project, Michael said it was successfully completed by a “high-calibre cross-functional team”, ahead of the deadlines set by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
“The first phase was delivered in March and second phase, by the end of June – both phases two weeks ahead of the stipulated deadlines. Extreme care was taken to re-plan the network as per the new frequency allocation to ensure continuous superior consumer experience and unmatched service quality.
“The telecommunication spectrum refarming of 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies, will deliver enhanced network services at affordable rates in the urban and the rural areas in future,” he said adding that both refarming exercises covered 7,400 sites in six regions.