Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Axiata 2Q net profit up 14.9% to RM663.05m, declares 4c dividend

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd's net profit rose 14.94% to RM663.05 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011 from RM576.82 million a year ago, mainly due to higher contribution from XL, Idea and Multinet, as well as lower depreciation, amortisation and impairment charges.

It said on Tuesday, Aug 23 revenue rose to RM4.05 billion from RM3.85 billion. Earnings per share were 8.0 sen compared with 7.0 sen. Net assets per share was RM2.25. It declared an interim tax exempt dividend of 4.0 sen per share for FY ending Dec 31, 2011.

However, for the six months ended June 30, Axiata's net profit fell 19% to RM1.21 billion from RM1.49 billion in the previous corresponding period. Revenue increased by 4.2% to RM7.99 billion from RM7.66 billion.

Reviewing its results, Axiata said the improved revenue was mainly due to higher contribution from Robi, Dialog, XL and Celcom.

It said Robi's revenue grew by 20.4% mainly due to increase in prepaid usage and 33.7% increase in prepaid revenue generating subscriber base.

Dialog revenue grew 9.4% mainly from increase in interconnect and data revenue, both increased by more than 100%, it said.

XL's revenue growth was mainly resulted from increase in subscriber base and outgoing SMS by 13.6% and 54.6% respectively, while Celcom revenue grew by 2.7% driven by postpaid and broadband revenue growth of 12.1% and 28.7% respectively, it said.

Axiata said revenue of market leader in Sri Lanka, Dialog, grew by 10.0% contributed from higher prepaid, postpaid and interconnect revenue which increased by 2.7%, 8.4% and more than 100% respectively'

Operating costs increased by 7.7% to RM4.49 billion from RM4.18billion in 1H'10, mainly driven by Celcom, XL and Robi arising mainly from higher network related costs.

Other operating income of the group decreased by 90.5% to RM35.7 million in 1H11 from RM374.7 million in 1H10, due to the one-off gain on disposal of shares in XL of RM337.9 million recorded in 1H10, it said.

Axiata said it recorded lower net finance costs of RM199.7 million in 1H11 as compared to RM284.1 million in 1H10 as a result of reduction of overall debt position at group level.

Meanwhile, average exchange rates in 1H11 of countries and group remained relatively stable against US dollars and ringgit, it said.

Axiata said the group recorded net foreign exchange gains of RM19.5 million in 1H11 as compared to gains of RM2.6 million in 1H10.

The company's president and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim said difficult operating conditions such as softening markets and the strengthening of the ringgit against most other currencies had continued in the second quarter of the year.

He said the latter had particularly affected Axiata's operations in Bangladesh.

Despite these factors, he said performance from most operating companies had held firm, adding that XL and Dialog in particular, had performed well against market.

'We have also seen good data performance, from Celcom and XL, which has mitigated the slower growth. Concurrently, the demand for data is growing and the challenges of voice and sms data substitution is accelerating especially in our more mature markets.

'To alleviate this, the group has continued to invest in data initiatives in order to gear up our network which has seen short term pressure in our performance.

'We are confident that despite the short term pressure seen in this quarter's results, we will be well poised to capitalise on new revenue opportunities, especially in the data business in the longer term,' he said.

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