Digi, the largest mobile player in Malaysia, reported a drop in net profit for the third quarter as a decline in prepaid customers led a near double-digit fall in prepaid revenue.
The operator’s net profit for the quarter fell 4.4 per cent to MYR368 million ($88.6 million), with total revenue rising marginally to MYR1.57 billion.
Service revenue dipped 0.1 per cent from the same period a year ago to MYR1.48 billion. Prepaid revenue fell 9.1 per cent to MYR835 million due to intense prepaid data price competition, offsetting a 14.9 per cent increase in post paid turnover to MYR640 million.
Digi CEO Albern Murty said it was a busy quarter as “we focused on capturing data demand on our network, while maintaining margins in the current market environment. Our strategy is to focus on our post paid, internet and digital capabilities”.
Data traffic grew 60 per cent year-on-year in Q3, driving overall internet revenue up 18.4 per cent to MYR817 million, which accounted for 55.4 per cent of service revenue in the quarter.
The operator’s overall subscriber base fell by about 500,000 year-on-year to end September with 11.8 million, as prepaid subs dropped 4 per cent to 9.1 million and post paid customers rose 14 per cent to 2.7 million.
Its LTE customer base grew 32 per cent from a year ago to 7.5 million at end-September, and smartphone adoption rose to 77.4 per cent. Average monthly data usage per subscriber hit 9.1GB, up from 6GB in Q3 2017.
Prepaid ARPU fell 3 per cent year-on-year to MYR31, while post paid ARPU slipped 1.3 per cent to MYR76.
Digi, with a 27.3 per cent market share by subscribers, said its MYR127 million capex budget for the quarter was used to upgrade network capacity and expand LTE coverage to 89 per cent of the population and LTE-Advanced to 61 per cent.
Its capex commitment for 2018 is between 11 per cent and 12 per cent of service revenue. Service revenue for the full year is forecast to remain flat.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back