Digi, the largest mobile operator in Malaysia, reported profit growth in Q4 2018, but service revenue slid as weakness in its prepaid segment offset gains in post paid subcribers and revenue.
The operator’s net profit rose 6.9 per cent year-on-year to MYR385 million ($93.3 million), with service revenue dipping 2 per cent to MYR1.48 billion. For the full year, service revenue was up 0.2 per cent to MYR5.92 billion, which the company said ended two years of declines.
Prepaid revenue in Q4 fell 12.6 per cent to MYR815 million due to a drop in subscribers and a decline in the mobile termination rate. Post paid revenue rose 15 per cent to MYR667 million.
Post paid strength
Prepaid ARPU decreased 11.7 per cent year-on-year to MYR30 while post paid ARPU dipped to MYR77 from MYR78 in Q4 2017.
The operator lost more than 400,000 prepaid subscribers, ending December with 8.86 million, while post paid subs increased 13 per cent to 2.8 million.
Its 4G subscriber base rose to 7.9 million, representing 86 per cent of smartphone users. Average monthly data usage increased 46 per cent year-on-year to 9.9GB.
Capex for 2018 was MYR685 million or 11.6 per cent of service revenue, meeting its guidance of 11 per cent to 12 per cent. The company said its 4G footprint stood at 89 per cent population coverage.
It expects service revenue in 2019 to remain flat, with EBITDA forecast to increase by a low single-digit figure.
The Telenor-owned operator had a 28 per cent share by subscribers at end-December, marginally ahead of rival Maxis. Number three Celcom held a 22 per cent share.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back