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Best Mobile Network in Malaysia, Maxis lost 463k prepaid subscribers in 2018 (4Q18 Results)

Maxis, the Telco which claims to have the best mobile network and unmatched customer experience saw its mobile subscriber base dropped to 10.89 million as of 4Q18. It used to have 11.09 million subscribers more than a year ago (4Q17).

maxis mobile subscriber base 4q18

In 4Q18, between October, November and December 2018, Maxis lost 132k prepaid subscribers, shrinking its prepaid subscriber base to 7.57 million, by market definition. It had 7.7 million prepaid subscribers as of September 2018. Maxis lost 463k prepaid subscribers in the whole year of 2018. 

The postpaid subscribers base increased to 3.19 million, by market definition. It added 85k new postpaid subscription from 3.1 million subscribers as of 3Q18.

ARPU for postpaid was at RM94 (RM93 in 3Q18) and prepaid at RM37 (RM36 in 3Q18).

Maxis Postpaid Revenue Generating Subscribers 4Q18

In terms of revenue generating subscribers (RGS), Maxis has 9.87 million (9.84 million in 3Q18) mobile subscribers including 6.61 million (-29k, QoQ) prepaid and 3.14 million (+80k, QoQ) postpaid. There are 123k wireless broadband subscribers from 152k it had over a year ago. Maxis revenue generating subscribers (RGS) are defined as active line subscriptions that excludes those without revenue generating activities for more than 30 days.

Maxis Prepaid Revenue Generating Subscribers 4Q18

In 4Q18, Prepaid subscribers consumed about 10.4GB (10.2GB in 3Q18) a month while Postpaid users consumed 12.2GB (11.7GB in 3Q18) of Internet data. There are now 8.4 million mobile Internet users (8.3 million in 3Q18).

83% of its prepaid and 87% of its postpaid base are smartphone users.

Home Fibre subscriptions stood at 226k up from 202k it had as of 3Q18.

Maxis 4G LTE network human population coverage is now at 93%, on a comparable peer-to-peer basis.

Financial highlights Year-on-Year (YoY) 2018 vs 2017, according to Maxis:

Maxis key financial report 4q18

  • Continued to grow and lead the market in postpaid, with revenue growing by 5.1% to RM4,072 million from RM3,873 million:
    • 282,000 new subscribers added for the year, bringing the total subscriber base to above 3.1 million
    • Growth was primarily driven by the strong demand for attractive and innovative device and value-accretive share line propositions
    • Hotlink Postpaid Flex showed steady growth and together with MaxisONE Share, attracted a large number of entry-level postpaid subscribers and encouraged migration of prepaid subscribers to postpaid
  • Service revenue dipped by 2.5% to RM8,068 million from RM8,271 million. Nonetheless, it was a strong finish to the year as a result of the growth in postpaid and fibre which in turn mitigated lower revenue from prepaid.
  • Prepaid revenue declined 11.4% to RM3,399 million from RM3,838 million, mainly due to SIM consolidation and migration to postpaid. As a result of well-executed strategies and personalised offerings, prepaid revenue continued to stabilise.
  • The Hotlink RED prepaid offering showed positive traction with growth in Mobile Internet which now accounts for 57.1% of prepaid revenue, contributing to a high and stable prepaid ARPU of RM42 per month.
  • With the introduction of attractive and affordable plans, fibre revenue improved by 17% to RM359 million from RM306 million and our base grew by 33% with over 249,000 home and enterprise subscribers. The new affordable plans have further strengthened the converged propositions in providing total connectivity solutions for customers.
  • Normalised EBITDA margin on Service Revenue remained stable at 47.6%, driven by a focus on profitable segments and cost optimisation initiatives.
  • Normalised EBITDA was down 8.4% to RM3,843 million from RM4,195 million, primarily due to one-off costs in Q4 associated with the new strategy, including migration of the existing fibre base to new plans.
  • As a result of the one-off costs, Normalised PAT declined 14.7% to RM1,768 million from RM2,073 million, in line with the decline in EBITDA.
  • Declared a fourth interim dividend of 5 sen net per share. This brings the full dividend for the year to 20 sen per share.

In media statement posted to Bursa Malaysia, Robert Nason, Chief Executive Officer, Maxis said:
“We closed 2018 by maintaining a strong core operating performance. We strengthened our competitive position in the market with some significant moves – we led the market with new affordable home and business fibre plans and grabbed first mover advantage through our fibrenation campaign. We are currently the only operator in Malaysia capable of offering a full combination of both fixed and mobile technologies for consumers and enterprises. Our one-off costs in Q4 were a necessary investment in the interest of our customers and for our long-term growth strategy. Overall, we are happy with our results and the substantial progress we have made during the year.”

About Kugan

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