Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia’s second largest mobile operator, returned to profit in 2016 after reducing its forex exposure and posting double-digit growth in mobile revenue and its subscriber base.
The operator reported a net profit of IDR1.1 trillion ($82.4 million) in 2016, reversing an IDR1.3 trillion loss in 2015. Its EBITDA rose 12 per cent to IDR12.9 trillion. A major factor was an IDR268 billion net forex gain in 2016 compared with an IDR1.6 trillion forex loss the previous year. The company reduced its US dollar debt by 58 per cent to $180 million, representing 12 per cent of total debt compared with 25 per cent in 2015.
Revenue increased 9 per cent to IDR29.1 trillion, with mobile turnover climbing 10 per cent to IDR24.1 trillion. A 44 per cent jump in mobile data subscribers (3G and 4G) helped fuel a 46.7 per cent increase in data revenue growth year-on-year.
Data usage jumped 147 per cent, while voice minutes fell 2.8 per cent and SMS traffic was down 15.8 per cent. Average data usage rose to 1.7GB per month.
Its total subscriber base increased 23 per cent year-on-year to 85.7 million, giving it a 22 per cent market share, according to GSMA Intelligence.
ARPU fell 12 per cent year-on-year to IDR24,500 in Q4. After intense data price competition for most of 2016, Indosat said in a statement some players have started to raise tariffs on their 1GB and 2GB plans and it plans to “increase data prices as a strategic move in improving profitability as well as strengthening its positioning in the competition”.
Its capex for the full year declined nearly 1 per cent to IDR7.3 trillion. The operator ended 2016 with more than 56,000 total base stations after expanding 4G sites by 40 per cent and 3G sites by 17 per cent. It has about 32,000 3G and 4G base stations and said 4G coverage now reached 112 cities.
The 2017 capex budget was cut by 19 per cent to IDR6 trillion.