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Maxis lost 398k Hotlink subscribers in 3Q17, lowest Mobile Internet users

Maxis reported its Third Quarter 2017 (3Q17) financial result yesterday. The Telco now has 11.27 million mobile subscribers, it lost a total of 392k subscribers between July, August and September 2017.

The lost of mobile subscribers was mainly contributed by Prepaid, down by 398k Hotlink subscribers, now at 8.26 million (vs 8.65 million in 2Q17).

There are now 2.84 million Postpaid subscribers. The Telco added 7k new subscribers. Maxis said it registered higher MaxisOne plan subscribers, now at 1.95 million (vs 1.89 million in 2Q17). However, the ARPU of MaxisONE plan dropped to RM117 in 3Q17 from RM120 in 2Q17.

maxis mobile subscribers

Maxis Mobile Subscribers from 3Q15 to 3Q17.

Maxis revenue generating subscribers (RGS) are defined as active line subscriptions that excludes those without revenue generating activities for more than 30 days. In terms of RGS, Maxis has 10.11 million (-308k) mobile subscribers with 7.15 million (-328k) Prepaid and 2.8 million (-20k) Postpaid.

Despite the huge drop in Prepaid subscribers, data shows that the Telco added 354k Hotlink Fast subscribers (ARPU dropped to RM43) in the quarter. There are 2.23 million are Hotlink Fast Prepaid subscribers in 3Q17 (vs 1.88 million in 2Q17).

In terms of ARPU, by market definition, Prepaid was RM37 and Postpaid at RM101.

Maxis sees strong data growth over the past year. The average usage of 4G LTE users rose to 7.4GB from 4.4GB per month Year-on-Year. East Malaysian Maxis users consumed an average 12GB a month. The number of 4G LTE users also increased to 6.0 million in Q3 2017 from 4.1 million last year.

However, Maxis mobile Internet user base dropped to 8.3 million, its lowest mobile internet users in the past ten quarters. It had 8.5 million mobile Internet subscribers in 2Q17.

In 3Q17, Maxis Prepaid (Hotlink) users consumed about 4.8GB internet data on average with 78% of the Prepaid base are smartphone users. About 85% of Maxis Postpaid subscribers are smartphone users. Postpaid subscribers consumed about 7.8GB Internet data on average in 3Q17.

Home connection subscriber base (Home Fibre) is now higher at 163k (vs 159k in 2Q17).

Maxis 4G LTE population coverage now stands at 89% nationwide. The Telco claims it has the fastest network with “Best Youtube HD Streaming” in the country.

Highlights: Year-on-year (yoy) – Q3 2017 vs Q3 2016, according to Maxis:

  • Robust quarterly performance overall with the highest earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), EBITDA margin (on service revenue) and profit after tax (PAT) in five years.
  • Normalised EBITDA grew by 5.0% yoy to RM1,201 million from RM1,144 million, reflecting higher revenue and positive results from cost optimisation initiatives. EBITDA margin (on service revenue) was strong at 55.8% against 54.1% last year.
  • Normalised PAT rose 8.3% to RM562 million compared to RM519 million on the back of higher EBITDA.
  • Service revenue grew 2.0% this quarter to RM2,155 million as compared to RM2,113 million a year ago, supported by strong growth in postpaid.
  • Postpaid delivered high yoy growth at 9.3% with revenue of RM1,055 million compared to RM965 million last year. This was mainly driven by a solid base of almost two million MaxisONE plan customers who contributed a stable and high average revenue per user (ARPU) of RM117 per month.
  • Hotlink FAST subscriptions grew to more than two million and we continued to lead the 4G prepaid market with high Hotlink FAST ARPU of RM43 per month. However, intense price-focused competition and lower revenue generating subscription base due to SIM consolidation resulted in prepaid revenue declining 6.0% yoy to RM955 million from RM1,017 million a year ago.
  • Declared a third interim dividend of five sen per share.

Quarter-on-quarter (qoq) – Q3 2017 vs Q2 2017:

  • Normalised EBITDA grew 8.8% to RM1,201 million from RM1,104 million
  • Normalised PAT up 16.1% to RM562 million from RM484 million
  • Service revenue up 1.6% to RM2,155 million against RM2,122 million

Morten Lundal, Chief Executive Officer, Maxis Berhad said, “Q3 2017 was a very strong quarter for Maxis, delivering the highest quarterly profits in five years. Record high demand for data and our high quality network created an all-time high customer satisfaction score.”

Maxis declared a third interim dividend of five sen per share (YTD: 15sen/share) .

About Kugan

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