Sunday, April 2, 2023

Celcom Axiata has 8.62 million Mobile Subscribers as of September 2019 [3Q19]

Celcom Axiata, the 4G mobile Telco in Malaysia, has 8.62 million mobile subscribers as of September 2019 according to the latest financial data from Axiata Group. The mobile service provider used to have 8.78 million mobile subscribers as of June 2019. Celcom Axiata is a subsidiary of the Axiata Group.


There are now 2.98 million postpaid (3.01 million in 2Q19) and 5.64 million prepaid (5.77 million in 2Q19) subscribers. Celcom lost a total of 153k mobile subscribers, including 123k prepaid and 30k postpaid subscribers between July, August and September 2019.

ARPU for Postpaid is higher(+RM1) at RM86 while Prepaid is lower (-RM1) at RM36.

Approximately 76.2% of Celcom mobile subscribers are Internet users (unchanged since 2Q19) consuming an average 14GB a month in 3Q19 (13.3GB in 2Q19). Celcom said 83% of the devices in the network are smartphones.

4G LTE human population coverage remains unchanged since 1Q19, 93% for 4G LTE and 81% for LTE-Advanced.


Axiata Group reported its 3Q19 financial results last Thursday.

For the third quarter ended 30 September 2019 (3Q19), the Group posted Year-on-Year (YoY) improvement with revenue up 3.5% to RM6.2 billion from better performance by most of its operating companies (OpCos). Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased 29% to RM2.8 billion driven by revenue growth as well as the Group’s cost excellence initiatives which resulted in RM816 million savings. Excluding MFRS 16 impact and at constant currency of 3Q18, Group EBITDA grew 9.8% mainly attributable to revenue growth and cost excellence initiatives.

Profit After Tax (PAT) increased by 33.5% to RM247.6 million for the quarter as a result of better topline. Profit After Tax and Minority Interest (PATAMI), however, decreased 9.4% to RM119.7 million due to the absence of M1’s contribution following its disposal, as well as higher taxes in Bangladesh.

Year-to-Date (YTD), the Group maintained momentum, as Free Cash Flow (FCF) jumped 1.9x to RM3.5 billion boosted by higher revenue and savings from cost excellence initiatives across the Group. PATAMI rose by over 100% to RM1 billion lifted by one-off gains from disposal of M1, divestment of non-core digital businesses and disposal of Idea rights as compared to Idea-related losses in YTD18. EBITDA grew 26.3% to RM7.9 billion YTD19 on the back of double-digit growth recorded at Celcom, XL, Robi, Smart and edotco. At constant currency of YTD18 and excluding MFRS 16 impact, Group EBITDA registered strong growth of 10.3% due to improved performance by all OpCos except Ncell.

Axiata’s President and Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said: “The Group’s performance shows we have successfully ‘shifted gear’ these last nine months to take the lead among our peers in this region.”

“I am particularly proud our operating companies emerged as top in their respective markets in meeting most of the metrics in EBITDA, profit and cash for this quarter. Even as we aimed for profitability and cash generation, we did not sacrifice topline growth.

“We have been working hard to step up on operational excellence across the Group and maintain the gruelling momentum since unveiling our 2019-2020 plans. Thus far, our main concern in most of our markets is in regulatory risks.”

“Given the current trajectory and barring unforeseen circumstances, we are likely to exceed targeted FY19 Headline KPIs for EBITDA growth of 5%-8% and ROIC of 5.2%-5.6%. Revenue growth at 3%-4% is likely to be below,” he added.

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

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