Indonesia’s Indosat reported a solid increase in EBITDA, mobile revenue and subscriber numbers in Q3, but a huge forex loss led to more red ink for the country’s second largest operator.
The operator’s EBITDA increased 24.8 per cent to IDR3.21 trillion ($235.9 million), on revenue up 14 per cent to IDR6.96 trillion. But a foreign exchange loss of IDR1.33 trillion as the rupiah depreciated further against the US dollar led to a quarterly loss of IDR388.5 trillion, compared with a loss of IDR210.6 trillion in the prior year period.
For the nine months, EBITDA increased 12.8 per cent to IDR8.56 trillion on revenue up 10.5 per cent to IDR19.58 trillion. But it posted a net loss of IDR1.122 trillion due to a forex loss of IDR2.33 trillion.
Indosat, which is 65 per cent owned by Ooredoo, expanded its subscriber base 27.3 per cent to 69 million year-on-year, boosting its market share from 18 per cent to 21.5 per cent over the past year to overtake XL Axiata as the country’s number 2 mobile player.
All the growth was in the prepaid segment (its small postpaid base declined 2.5 per cent). APRU was up 6.5 per cent to IDR26,900 ($1.97) from the previous quarter.
Data usage during the period increased 155 per cent, but minutes of use per customer fell 13 per cent and SMS traffic was flat. Data users rose 25 per cent to 32.2 million from Q3 2014, and data revenue was up 65 per cent year-on-year in Q3.
The operator expanded capex in Q3 almost 20 per cent to IDR1.87 trillion, adding almost 9,000 base stations (nearly 7,000 3G sites) over the last year. Expenses edged up 2.7 per cent to IDR17.69 trillion, with the cost of services rising 8.7 per cent to IDR655 billion as a result of an increase in frequency fees, maintenance and rent.
It is forecasting 1 per cent revenue growth for the full year, and its capex guidance is IDR6.5 trillion to IDR7.5 trillion, up from IDR6.4 trillion last year.