Celcom reports 30th consecutive quarter of growth, YTD revenue at RM6b
By Digital News Asia December 4, 2013
- Current subscriber base at 13.5 million; mobile broadband has 1.2 million subscribers
- Mobile Internet revenue grew by 68.2% YTD over YTD to RM369 million
CELCOM Axiata Berhad reported its 30th consecutive quarter of revenue growth, with revenue in the third quarter from July to September 2013 coming in at RM2.02 billion, a marginal improvement over last quarter’s RM2.01 billion.
This brings its revenue to a total of RM6.01 billion for year to date (YTD), and representing a YTD-on-YTD improvement of 4.2%, the company said in a statement.
The telco also saw quarterly EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) growing 0.2% to RM898 million from the previous quarter’s RM896 million, bringing the total YTD figure to RM2.67 billion, a growth of 3.1%.
Celcom’s EBITDA margin remained at 44.5%, which it said was due to a continuous focus on ‘Smart Spend’ initiatives including adopting industry best practices, reducing wastage while using resulting savings in high-return areas, promoting work ethics, integrity, good governance, and investing in projects that represent good return on investment (ROI).
Celcom also maintained PATAMI (Profits After Tax, Amortisation and Minority Interests) of RM568 million for the quarter, a slight drop of 0.8% from the previous quarter due to higher competition in the industry; this brought total profits for the year to RM1.69 billion, the company said.
Its subscriber base grew to 13.5 million (14.6 million including subscribers from MVNOs or movbile virtual network operators) while smartphone users grew to 3.75 million, making up 27.8% of total subscribers.
It also reported 1.2 million mobile broadband subscribers who contributed RM283 million in Q3 2013, a quarterly growth of 6.7%, and contributing 14% of overall revenue. Celcom’s YTD revenue of RM803 million in this business also represents a growth of 18.5%.
The company said it would continue to focus on network quality and service delivery, and has spent close to RM200 million for overall network quality improvement and system upgrades, including addressing the general industry issue of dropped calls.
It will be investing more than RM100 million to improve coverage, speed, customer experience, and fibre infrastructure in the Klang Valley, eastern regions in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, major highways, and tourist areas. These projects are currently underway and Celcom is expecting completion by April next year.
While resuscitation initiatives maintained the voice segment’s quarterly revenue at RM1.2 million, Celcom took advantage of upwards trends in data usage adoption and growth via focused and attractive device bundles and consumer promotions that saw mobile Internet revenue grow by 68.2% y-o-y to RM369 million.
[RM1 = US$0.31]
“Moving into 2014 and beyond, Celcom will drive incremental revenue focusing on enterprise solutions, digital services and high-value customers, while at the same time drive infrastructure costs down through Smart Spend measures as well as improved productivity and LCN (low-cost network) initiatives,” said chief executive officer Shazalli Ramly.
“By balancing revenue and costs with customer-centric investments, Celcom will sustain its growth on revenue and profitability moving forwards,” he told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur.
Celcom’s capex (capital expenditure) spend for the first nine months of 2013 stands at RM513 million with major investments going into its ongoing 4G LTE nationwide rollout, transformative IT deployments, new digital services businesses and Escape, a personal entertainment space launched in August.
Future capital spending will have a focus on digital services and network capacity in line with the company’s focus on data as a key area of growth.
In the third quarter of 2013, Celcom was named Wireless Data Services Provider of the Year at the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Awards, an accolade that closely echoed the telco‟s fifth annual recognition as Mobile Service Provider of the Year and its second win for the Broadband Service Provider of the Year award at the 2013 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Awards.
Celcom was also recognised as Telecommunications Wholesale Service Provider of the Year in the latter awards, showcasing its substantial investments and partnership with local and regional communication startups, the company said.
Last month, Celcom clinched the Cyber Security Organisation of the Year Award by CyberSecurity Malaysia, an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, becoming the first and only telecommunications service provider to win since the award series’ inception in 2009.
Its ‘Bolt out of the Blue’ marketing campaign also earned the gold award at the Malaysia Effie Awards presented by the Associated of Accredited Advertising Agencies Malaysia (4As) last month, while Shazalli was also acknowledged as the ‘ICT Personality of the Year’ at the Pikom ICT Leadership Awards 2013.
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