One of the leading Telco in Malaysia, Celcom Axiata Berhad now has 9.56 million mobile subscribers as of the end of 2017, Quarter 4 2017 (4Q17), down from 9.67 million mobile subscribers it had in 3Q17. Celcom is a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad.
At the end of 2016, the Telco had 10.56 million mobile subscribers.
As of December 2017, there are 6.72 million Celcom Prepaid subscribers (vs 2.87 million in 3Q17) and 2.82 million Celcom Postpaid subscribers (2.86 million in 3Q17).
Postpaid ARPU was at RM87 (vs RM84 in 3Q17), Prepaid ARPU was RM34 (vs RM33 in 3Q17)
About 70.3% of Celcom mobile subscribers are data users, consumed an average of 8.5GB data in 4Q17 (vs 7.2GB in 3Q17). 74% of Celcom subscribers are smartphone users.
In terms of coverage, Celcom claims it has a nationwide 4G LTE population coverage of 87% and 74% for 4G LTE-A.
In a statement, Axiata Group said “Celcom’s FY17 ARPUs were up with postpaid growing RM6 and prepaid improving RM2. Competing in a data-centric market, Celcom improved its network experience considerably especially with the expansion of its 4G and 4G LTE-A population coverage to 87% and 74% in 4Q17. Other key operational improvements in Celcom includes simplified product portfolio, improved sales and distribution channels, and enhanced organisation and culture transformation through digital and agile ways of working.”
Celcom Financial Performance: 2016-2017
For the financial year ended 31 December 2017 (FY17), Axiata recorded a 8.1% growth in revenue to RM6.3 billion in 2017 compared to RM5.8 billion in 2016 while EBITDA rose 17.5% to RM2.3 billion in 2017 comparison to RM2.0 billion in 2016. PAT for the Group improved 137.6% to RM102 million in 2017 against losses of RM272 million in 2016.
Axiata Board of Directors declared a higher full year total dividend of 8.5 sen per ordinary share, including the interim dividend of 5 sen per ordinary share paid in 2017. Total dividend for FY17 translates to a 64% dividend payout ratio (DPR) compared to 50% in FY16. The final dividend is subject to shareholders approval at the Axiata’s forthcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Commenting on the Group’s full year results, Axiata’s Chairman, Tan Sri Datuk Wira Azman Hj. Mokhtar said, “We are pleased to announce that Axiata was able to meet its targeted headline KPIs for 2017. Given the improved overall results, the Board has declared a higher full year dividend payout of 8.5 sen for 2017. This translates to a payout ratio of 64% compared to 50% in 2016.”
Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata said, “Coming off a very challenging 2016, we were determined to make 2017 one of our best performing years. The Group has met all its KPIs for FY17, recorded the highest revenue and EBITDA in our history with all our OpCos and businesses performing strongly. In fact, all OpCos performed better than industry while some performed the best in their respective markets. We also kicked off our biggest ever cost optimisation programme. With RM800 million in Opex and Capex saving targeted for 2017 while working towards a RM1.5 billion goal in 2018 and 2019. The Group has successfully delivered RM1.3 billion in saving within 2017.
“Our two largest operations, Celcom and XL, delivered as planned. Celcom’s turnaround has been the key focus for us this year and I am pleased with the improvements made on all indicators to demonstrate that a firm turnaround is on track. XL’s Transformation Agenda has brought tangible results from its dual brand strategy and network expansion. As encouraging as these results may be, we are always mindful that we have a lot more work to do.”
Jamaludin concluded, “We have created a strong momentum and expect our core mobile operations to perform well. The proposed merger of Idea and Vodafone in India will make it the largest telco in India and one of the largest in the world, signifying a new era for all. We believe in the intrinsic value of Idea, however, consequent of the merger, there will be a significant technical impartment, which is a non-cash, purely accounting adjustment and not reflective of actual performance.
“In our newer business portfolios, the completion of edotco’s proposed acquisition in Pakistan will see material impact with an immediate profit accretion, while our investments in key digital businesses such as fintech and enterprise/IoT is expected to make significant inroads during the year.”