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Celcom Mobile Subscribers now higher at 9.6 million as of 1Q18

Celcom Axiata has managed to gain more customers in 1Q18, now at 9.6 million, after its mobile subscribers have been declining since December 2016. Celcom is a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad.

celcom

The Telco added 51k new mobile subscribers between January and March 2018 (1Q18). It had 9.56 million subscribers as of 4Q17.

There are now 2.83 million postpaid (vs 2.82 million in 4Q17) mobile subscribers and 6.77 million prepaid (vs 6.72 million in 4Q17). Celcom added 4k new postpaid and 47k new prepaid mobile subscribers between January and March this year.

Both Postpaid and Prepaid ARPU remains unchanged from the previous quarter at RM87 and RM34 respectively.

About 71.3% (70.3% in 4Q17) of Celcom mobile subscribers are data users consuming an average of 9.5GB (8.5GB in 4Q17) per user, per month in 1Q18.

The Axiata  Group said Celcom demonstrated improvement in key operational drivers with service revenue increasing 2.0% YoY, to perform better than industry on the back of growth in prepaid revenue. Celcom continued to focus on high value customers as YoY ARPUs improved by RM6 for postpaid and RM4 for prepaid.

Aggressive network investments lifted its 4G and 4G LTE-A population coverage to 88% (87% in 4Q17) and 76% (74% in 4Q17) respectively.

Celcom saw a short term impact on margins due to change in revenue mix and additional investments to enhance network experience, but overall cost optimisation programme remained on track. Over the quarter, Celcom also substantially improved its retail Touchpoint Net Promoter Score (tNPS) from 68 to 77, it claims.

celcom financial performance 1q18 mobile subscribers

Financial Highlights Q1 2018, according to Celcom:

  • Celcom’s total revenue has been showing improvement of 2.3% YoY, with Q1 2018 record of RM1.636 billion compared to RM 1.599 billion in Q1 2017.
  • Service revenue of RM1.504 billion in Q1 2018 marked 2.0% of YoY increase, ahead of industry growth.
  • Celcom delivered EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) at RM518 million and PATAMI (profit after tax, amortisation and minority interests) at RM187 million.
  • 47% of total revenue in the observed quarter contributed by data revenue. The company’s data performance grew stronger from RM661 million in Q1 2017 to RM762 million in Q1 2018, displaying a significant growth of 15.4% YoY.
  • Smartphone penetration increased from 66% in Q1 2017, to 75% as at Q1 2018.
  • Increase in YoY data consumption from 5.0GB to 9.5GB per month, per data subscriber.
  • Postpaid segments delivered higher average revenue per user (ARPU) of RM87 in Q1 2018, compared to RM81 in the same quarter last year.
  • Prepaid YoY growth in ARPU from RM30 to RM34 comparatively in the Q1 last year and current year.

Michael Kuehner, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad said, “We have begun challenging our “business-as-usual” way of working, and will continue to revolutionise our interactions and the delivery of great products as well as services for our customers. Look out for our updates soon!” he concluded.

In a media statement announcing its 1Q18 Financial Results, Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata said, “Our results this quarter was distorted by the adverse currency impact as the Ringgit strengthened on an average of 12% against all OpCo market currencies, and the Indian telecoms industry continues to deteriorate due to the new player. Excluding those factors, the overall underlying performance was good. All OpCos’ performed better than industry in their respective markets.

“We gained significant revenue market share in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Celcom’s turnaround performance continues to gain momentum, and overall, we see quarter-on-quarter improvements in key performance drivers. While the Indonesian market’s dynamics and structural changes have impacted the entire industry, we believe it will lead to a healthier market environment ahead. We are pleased that XL was least impacted by these changes and we look forward to better performance as it continues to execute on its Transformation Agenda.”

Jamaluddin added, “While we remain in line with expectation, our investment in Idea continues to be challenging. The current state of the industry in India has led to foreign operators either exiting the market or consolidating. Delays in the proposed merger between Idea and Vodafone India will bring further impact to Axiata. We also expect regulatory matters in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh as well as currency fluctuations as challenges for the year.

“In our newer business portfolios, we believe edotco’s growth and expansion will bring material gains for the Group. We will continue to invest in key digital businesses such as digital financial services and enterprise solution/IoT.”

About Kugan

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