Axiata Group predicted full year revenue and profitability would decline due to continued economic and financial headwinds caused by Covid-19 (coronavirus)-related movement restrictions and consumptions shifts, as it revealed Q2 numbers.

In a statement, president and CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim estimated the pandemic lowered operating revenue by about MYR400 million ($95.8 million) in H1, adding it expects low single-digit percentage declines in revenue and EBITDA for the full year.

Axiata Group withdrew its full-year guidance in May.

“The full impact of Covid-19 was felt heavily in the second quarter, especially in April when movement restrictions were in full throttle across our markets. Against this backdrop, we are encouraged that our cash position remains strong, and we continue to be ahead of our MYR5 billion cost optimisation target by one year,” Ibrahim said.

Net profit in Q2 dropped 63.7 per cent year-on-year to MYR80 million on higher depreciation and amortisation costs and lower one-off gains.

Group revenue declined 5.9 per cent to MYR5.79 billion due to the impact of lockdown measures across all its markets. All operating companies registered declines in revenue, except XL and infrastructure unit edotco.

The company noted it offered free data and bonus prepaid top-ups to customers during the quarter.

Celcom in Malaysia registered a 12.7 per cent fall in revenue to MYR1.45 billion and a 31.4 per cent decline in net profit to MYR149.6 million, attributed to retail outlet closures and a government-mandated free data offer of 1GB per day/customer.

XL’s revenue increased 4.7 per cent to MYR1.91 billion, and net profit grew 52.6 per cent to MYR65.6 million.

Robi in Bangladesh posted a net profit of MYR29.4 million versus an MYR15.8 million loss in Q2 2019, but revenue fell 1.7 per cent to MYR899 million.

Revenue at Dialog in Sri Lanka fell 5.9 per cent to MYR646 million, while net profit rose 10.4 per cent to MYR52.8 million.

Ncell in Nepal suffered a 39.2 per cent drop in revenue, with net profit plummeting 93.2 per cent to MYR10.4 million.

At Smart in Cambodia, revenue was flat at MYR326 million, with net profit up 2.8 per cent to MYR76 million.

Edotco revenue rose 7.6 per cent to MYR469 million, while net profit was up 20.4 per cent to MYR575 million.