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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Maxis, DiGi ring up strong profit growth in 3Q

Maxis, DiGi ring up strong profit growth in 3Q
Author: Tan KW | Publish date: Thu, 20 Oct 2016, 10:00 AM
By Ahmad Naqib Idris / The Edge Financial Daily | October 20, 2016 : 9:36 AM MYT

Lundal: Next quarter, we are going to continue on our journey to fully digitalise Maxis.

Murty: This was a very busy quarter for us as competition remained intense. Photo by Mohd Izwan Mohd Nazam

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 20, 2016.

KUALA LUMPUR: Mobile telecommunications companies (telcos) Maxis Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd rang up a strong third quarter with double-digit increases in net profit.

Maxis’ net profit rose 20% to RM503 million or 6.7 sen a share in the three months ended Sept 30, for financial year 2016 (3QFY16), from RM420 million or 5.6 sen a share a year ago, driven by higher postpaid service revenue which was supported by a solid base of almost 1.5 million MaxisONE plan subscriptions with monthly average revenue per user of RM141.

However, the group’s overall revenue declined slightly to RM2.16 billion in third quarter (3Q) of FY16, from RM2.17 billion in 3QFY15.

Maxis declared a third interim dividend of five sen per share for FY16 ending Dec 31, 2016, payable on Dec 29.

For the cumulative nine months to Sept 30, 2016 (9MFY16), net profit rose 18.7% to RM1.51 billion from RM1.27 billion a year earlier, while revenue was slightly lower at RM6.4 billion versus RM6.43 billion in 9MFY15.

“Next quarter, we are going to continue on our journey to fully digitalise Maxis and also create the best digital experience for our customers. We are, as always, looking forward to what’s next,” said Maxis chief executive officer (CEO) Morten Lundal in a statement yesterday.

DiGi registered a net profit of RM438.38 million or 5.64 sen a share in 3QFY16, up 10.5% from RM396.62 million or 5.1 sen a share a year ago, boosted by a foreign-exchange and derivatives gain of RM46,000, versus a loss of RM25.82 million previously, as well as an expanded postpaid share. This was despite revenue slipping 3.3% to RM1.62 billion from RM1.67 billion.

“This was a very busy quarter for us as competition remained intense,” DiGi CEO Albern Murty said in a statement yesterday. “We continued to remain resilient in the quarter, benefiting from a well-managed cost structure and delivering steady performance with earnings growth anchored by stronger Internet and digital services momentum, in particular from our expanded postpaid share.”

For 9MFY16, DiGi however saw its net profit fall 6.1% to RM1.26 billion, from RM1.34 billion in 9MFY15, while revenue declined 5% to RM4.93 billion from RM5.19 billion.

DiGi also declared a third interim dividend of 5.6 sen per share for FY16, payable on Dec 30. This brings total dividends for the year to 16.1 sen per share.

Looking ahead, DiGi said the postpaid segment will be the telco’s main engine of growth, adding that the group will be focusing on expanding its offerings in the segment.

“The remaining final quarter will be exciting with the stepping up of [the] postpaid growth engine, now fortified with [a] new proposition and solid 4G+ network to unlock further growth opportunities. DiGi will relentlessly pursue digital innovation, and deliver refreshing products and services relevant to customers’ digital lifestyle,” it added.

In 3QFY16, both telcos saw lower contributions from their prepaid segments as more consumers made the switch to postpaid plans.

Year to date, Maxis’ prepaid revenue was down 4.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) at RM2.99 billion due to a lower subscription base amid intense price competition. However, it said this had since stabilised towards the end of the current period with acquisition momentum continuing to improve.

Postpaid service revenue grew a marginal 0.4% y-o-y to RM2.93 million, compared with RM2.91 million.

“It’s again amazing to see how data consumption is exploding. Clearly, Malaysians love data. From an average of 2.5GB of data consumed per month last quarter, our customers are now using 3.1GB per month on average, especially driven by video usage,” said Lundal.

“We had a great response from our massive auto-upgrade of data for MaxisONE plan customers and shareable DataPool introduced last quarter. In the last 12 months alone, we added over 800,000 MaxisONE plan customers, with a base now approaching 1.5 million,” he added.

During the quarter under review, DiGi also saw its prepaid income fall 6.7% y-o-y to RM1.07 billion, while postpaid revenue marked a 10.4% y-o-y increase to RM489 million.

Shares in Maxis closed unchanged at RM6.01 yesterday, with a market capitalisation of RM45.14 billion. DiGi shares, meanwhile, also closed umchanged at RM5, valuing it at RM38.88 billion.

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