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Maxis lost 849k mobile subscribers in 2017, now at 10 million as of 4Q17

Maxis reported its Fourth Quarter 2017 (4Q17) financial result yesterday. At the end of 2017, Maxis had 10 million revenue generating subscribers (RGS). Maxis revenue generating subscribers (RGS) are defined as active line subscriptions that excludes those without revenue generating activities for more than 30 days. The Telco had 10.11 million mobile subscribers at the end of September 2017 (Q317).

Maxis subscriber base q42017

By market definition, on a comparable basis with the other Telcos, Maxis has 11.09 million subscribers at the end of 2017 (11.27 million in 3Q17).

Maxis Prepaid Subscriber base

Maxis Prepaid Subscriber Base: 4Q16 – 4Q17

The Prepaid subscriber base is now lower at 7 million (vs 7.15 million in 3Q17) while Maxis increased its Postpaid subscriber base to 2.85 million as of 4Q17 (vs 2.8 million in 3Q17). There are 152k wireless broadband subscribers.

Maxis Postpaid Subscribers 4Q2017

Maxis Postpaid Subscriber Base: 4Q16 – 4Q17

In terms of ARPU, Prepaid is at RM41 (vs RM42 in 3Q17) while Postpaid is at RM103 (vs RM102 in 3Q17).

In 2017, Maxis lost 849k revenue generating subscribers (RGS) including 949k prepaid subscribers and 41k wireless Broadband subscribers. In 4Q17 alone, between October, November and December 2017, Maxis lost 157k prepaid subscribers. However the Telco added 141k revenue generating postpaid subscribers in 2017 and 48k in 4Q17.

Despite the drop in prepaid subscribers, Maxis said it added more Hotlink Fast users, now at 2.3 million (4Q17) compared to 2.23 million as of 3Q17. ARPU for Hotlink Fast remains at RM43, unchanged since 3Q17.

80% of Maxis Prepaid subscribers are smartphone users that consumed an average data of 5.9GB in 4Q17.

There are now 2.03 million MaxisONE plan subscribers with an ARPU of RM117 as of 4Q17. 86% of the Maxis Postpaid subscribers base are smartphone users consuming an average 8.9GB Internet data in 4Q17.

Maxis claims to have the largest 4G LTE population coverage nationwide at 92% on a comparable peer basis. “To ensure our customers continue to enjoy the best mobile streaming experience, we invested RM1.0 billion in 2017”, it said.

Full year 2017 vs full year 2016 – Year-on-year (YoY), according to Maxis:

  • Normalised EBITDA grew by 2.1% yoy to RM4,597 million from RM4,502 million, reflecting higher revenue and positive results from cost optimisation initiatives. EBITDA margin (on service revenue) was strong at 53.9% against 53.2% last year.
  • Normalised PAT rose 5.5% to RM2,086 million compared to RM1,977 million on the back of higher EBITDA.
  • Service revenue continued to grow positively in a declining market, up 0.8% to RM8,525 million from RM8,455 million a year ago, supported by strong growth in postpaid and integrated services
  • Postpaid delivered yoy growth of 4.2% with revenue of RM4,117 million compared to RM3,951 million last year. This was mainly driven by growth in subscription base, with high and stable average revenue per user (ARPU). Our flagship MaxisONE Plan has now surpassed 2 million subscribers, contributing a high monthly ARPU of RM117.
  • Prepaid revenue declined by 3.7% to RM3,849 million against RM3,997 million a year ago due to lower subscription base. This was a result of aggressive price competition, prepaid-to-postpaid migration and SIM consolidation in the market. We continued to focus on retaining and growing our quality subscribers, in particular high mobile Internet users. Hotlink FAST subscriptions grew to more than 2 million with sustained high and stable ARPU of RM43 per month.
  • Declared a fourth interim dividend of 5 sen net per share, bringing the full year dividend of 20 sen net per share for the year

Q4 2017 against Q4 2016

  • Service revenue declined 2.1% to RM2,119 million from RM2,165 million, mainly attributed to a lower prepaid revenue
  • Normalised EBITDA was lower at RM1,169 million against RM1,187 million. This was due to lower total revenue, a one-off operation and maintenance cost and higher realised foreign exchange losses in Q4 2017
  • Normalised PAT declined 2.0% to RM537 million as compared to RM548 million due to lower EBITDA.

“2017 was a strong year with many proud highlights. We gained further market share both in revenue and profits. We developed our superior 4G LTE network to be unparalleled in quality as the best and fastest data network in the country. Overall, our customers enjoy a combination of lots of quality data, attractive products and great connectivity. We are most of all proud to record the highest customer satisfaction we have ever seen. We are on track towards our ambition for full digitalization of Maxis. All in all, a strong finish to a great year.” said Morten Lundal, Chief Executive Officer, Maxis Berhad in a press statement that was posted on Bursa Malaysia.

About Kugan

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