Axiata Group highlighted a strong underlying performance across most regional markets after earnings exceeded guidance in 2022, aided by lower capex and continued cost management.

Joint acting CEO Vivek Sood stated it worked to manage risks by reducing forex exposure, increasing hedging activities and cutting capex. It aims for mid-single-digit revenue growth in 2023, excluding device sales.

Net profit attributable to the company grew from MYR116 million ($26.2 million) in Q4 2021 to MYR10 billion in the recent period due to a one-off gain on a Celcom-Digi merger, forex gains and lower taxes.

Revenue grew 2.7 per cent to MYR7.1 billion.

XL, Robi and Dialog already issued Q4 figures, and the company did not break out Celcom’s Q4 figures due to the merger.

Ncell revenue declined 6.9 per cent to MYR339.2 million, hit by a cut in the interconnect rate in January 2022, and net profit dropped 46 per cent to MYR33.6 million due to higher finance costs and forex losses.

Revenue at Smart increased 8.8 per cent to MYR422.8 million on prepaid data growth, with net profit up 21.3 per cent to MYR95.2 million.

Sales at tower unit edotco grew 27.3 per cent to MYR676.2 million, aided by new acquisitions. Net profit fell 13.9 per cent to MYR55.3 million as a result of higher depreciation and amortisation and finance costs.

Full-year capex dropped 9.5 per cent to MYR6.5 billion and is forecast to rise to MYR7.1 billion in 2023.