Axiata Group maintained a mid-single digit growth forecast for the full year despite a challenging macroeconomic environment in many markets, but lowered its capex target as it moved to cut costs after its loss widened in Q2.
CEO Vivek Sood said on an earnings call it expects capex of MYR6.5 billion ($1.4 billion) to MYR6.8 billion, down from earlier guidance of MYR7.1 billion.
Net loss rose to MYR576.2 million from MYR502.4 million in Q2 2022, despite a gain of MYR402 million from closing adjustments of a merger of Celcom and Digi.
The operator said its bottom-line was impacted by higher finance costs, a lower share of profits following the merger, along with impairment costs and capital gains of MY710 billion for its Nepal unit Ncell.
Sood said overall its “strong operating performance and cash generation provides a sustainable position against one-off setbacks”.
Revenue grew 15.3 per cent to MYR6 billion, attributed to an improved operating environment and healthy performance by most of its business units.
Sood highlighted the impact on cashflow over the short- to medium-term of investments in 5G networks, noting there is some “uncertainty to participate”.
Revenue at XL in Indonesia increased 14 per cent to MYR2.5 billion, mainly due to higher prepaid data and digital advertising sales.
Net profit rose 4.6 per cent to MYR138 million.
Revenue at Robi in Bangladesh grew 4 per cent to MYR1.1 billion, mainly driven by higher prepaid data revenue.
Net profit rose more than 100 per cent to MYR10.4 million.
Revenue at Dialog in Sri Lanka increased 25.6 per cent to MYR698 million and net profit more than 100 per cent to MYR51.2 million
Ncell revenue dropped 10 per cent to MYR328.8 million, due mainly to a cut in the interconnect rate. It reported a net loss of MYR22 million.
Revenue at tower unit edotco rose 11.1 per cent to MYR684.5 million.
It booked a loss of MYR98.7 million.