One of the leading telecommunication company in Asia, Axiata Group Berhad announced its fourth quarter (4Q18) financial results mid last month. Malaysia-based mobile operator Celcom Axiata, a subsidiary of the Axiata Group, now has 9.08 million mobile subscribers (vs 9.23 million million in 3Q18).
Celcom Axiata lost some 154k mobile subscribers between October, November and December 2018, mostly prepaid subscribers. However, the company added 109k new postpaid subscriptions during the 3 months period.
There are now 2.99 million (2.89 million in 3Q18) postpaid subscribers and 6.09 million (6.34 million in 3Q18) prepaid subscribers.
ARPU in 4Q18 are as following: Prepaid RM36 (vs RM34 in 3Q18), Postpaid RM92 (vs RM89 in 4Q18).
About 73% of the mobile subscribers base are data users consuming an average 15.4GB a month (vs 13.1GB in 3Q18). 78% of its mobile subscribers uses a smartphone.
4G LTE Population coverage now stands at 91% (vs 90% in 3Q18) and LTE-A coverage at 78% (unchanged since 3Q18).
Celcom Financial Highlights Q4 2018, according to Axiata:
- FY18 service revenue growth of 1.1% driven by both postpaid and prepaid segments.
- Focus on HVCs yielded positive results with FY18 postpaid ARPU +RM5 to RM89 and prepaid ARPU +RM3 to RM35.
- Cost initiatives continue in 4Q18 as EBITDA improves 6% QoQ and margins +2 ppt to 35% as reflected in lower direct expense (-4.6%), network cost (-2.8%) and staff cost (-4.6%).
- FY18 EBITDA growth of -4.5% due to impact of one-off internal employee restructuring cost charge, change in revenue mix and increased network spending for coverage expansion and capacity upgrade.
- FY18 PATAMI growth of -64.4% primarily driven by one-off assets write-off and impairment charge in 4Q18, the one-off charge on employee restructuring, higher D&A charges and one-time gain from the disposal of 11street in 2017. Adjusted for one-offs absolute PATAMI remains stable.
- LTE and LTE-A coverage at 91% and 78% respectively, as at 4Q18.
According to Axiata, Celcom’s service revenue increased 1.1% YoY in FY18 amidst a stabilising competitive environment driven by growth in both postpaid and prepaid segments. Its focus on high value customers further drove momentum, resulting in a RM5 increase in FY18 postpaid Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) to RM89, while prepaid ARPU increased by RM3 to RM35. The addition of 169,000 customers in FY18 expanded Celcom’s postpaid subscriber base to three million. LTE and LTE-A coverage was at 91% and 78% respectively.
Commenting on the full year results, Tan Sri Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid, Chairman, Axiata Group Berhad said, “In spite of the many externalities as well as significant industry and market developments this year, Axiata continued to hold up, enabling the Group to strongly deliver on its 2018 underlying operational performance.”
“We are pleased to announce Axiata was able to meet its adjusted headline KPIs for 2018. Given the overall results, the Board has proposed a full year dividend payout of 9.5 sen for 2018.”