Indonesia-based XL Axiata warned increased competition since the final quarter of 2020 will impact growth this year, forecasting the economic environment will only start improving in H2.

It expects revenue to grow in-line with the market, but didn’t offer a specific target.

In a statement, president director Dian Siswarini (pictured) said during 2020 the company focused on its operational excellence strategy to drive business digitisation by implementing automation and simplicity.

Despite intense competition and impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, it posted growth in service revenue, ARPU and subscribers.

Net profit dropped to IDR372 billion ($26.7 million) from IDR713 billion in 2019, due in large part to a one-off depreciation charge as it reduced the service life of its 3G assets. Service revenue grew 5.6 per cent to IDR1.89 trillion.

Data revenue increased 10 per cent to IDR22.2 trillion and accounted for 92 per cent of the total service figure, up from 88.7 per cent.

The operator added 1.15 million subscribers for a total of 57.89 million. Blended ARPU rose 2.85 per cent to IDR36,000.

Smartphone penetration increased to 89 per cent from 85 per cent.

The total number of base stations deployed increased 11 per cent to 145,000. It added more than 14,000 4G sites and shifted capacity off its 3G network, which accounted for less than 10 per cent of total traffic, to LTE.