Service revenue up 2.2% to RM2.1bil quarter-on-quarter
Strong mobile Internet uptake, compensating for SMS decline
FOR the fourth quarter ended Dec 31 2014, Maxis Bhd registered a 2.2% quarterly growth in service revenue, up to RM2.094 billion from RM2.049 billion in the third quarter.
From a declining momentum in the last few years, Maxis now moves into 2015 with a positive momentum, the company said in a statement, saying it was transitioning from a traditional voice-oriented telco to becoming a digital enabler.
Maxis continued to grow its data revenue despite taking RM16 million revenue hit from the re-pricing of postpaid pay-per-use (PPU) charges, similar to the previous quarter. [RM1 = US$0.28]
Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) was marginally lower at RM1 billion million versus RM1.070 billion in the previous quarter, primarily due to higher direct expenses from higher traffic and higher sales and marketing expenses to support the business.
Consequently, normalised Profit After Tax (PAT) for the quarter was RM419 million versus RM494 million in the third quarter of 2014.
With the introduction of the MaxisONE plan, the company took away the very high PPU rates for data to give customers a worry-free experience, it said.
Mobile Internet revenue grew 8.4% this quarter, driven by momentum gained from worry-free propositions and higher smartphone penetration, Maxis said.
As at the end of December 2014, Maxis had 8.8 million mobile internet users and a blended smartphone penetration of 57%. Mobile Internet revenue now accounts for 32% of total mobile revenue.
“We had much to change as we entered 2014 and we have done exactly that. We made good progress in our transition to a high-performing digital company,” said chief executive officer Morten Lundal (pic).
“We are growing revenue generating subscriber (RGS) again, particularly in prepaid where we had the biggest losses in the past years.
“This quarter alone, our new prepaid customers spiked to over half a million. More importantly, we are growing data revenue and the strong uptake in mobile Internet was able to compensate for the SMS decline,” he added.
Maxis invested RM1.1 billion in capex (capital expenditure) in 2014 for network modernisation, capacity and quality improvements, as well as focused 4G (Fourth Generation) coverage expansion.
Its modernised 2G and 3G (Second and Third Generation) population coverage is now more than 75%. Maxis claimed it leads the 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) population coverage in the country, approaching one-third of the population and covering key market centres and state capitals.
The company announced a fourth interim dividend of eight sen per share and will be recommending a final dividend of eight sen per share for approval at its forthcoming annual general meeting.
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