Axiata chief cautiously optimistic on full year potential - Mobile World Live

Axiata chief cautiously optimistic on full year potential

26 NOV 2021

Axiata Group’s president and CEO warned of supply chain and financial pressures in the final quarter of 2021, despite releasing Q3 figures which he noted left it bullish on beating some full-year forecasts.

Izzaddin Idris stated Q3 was characterised by challenging macroeconomic conditions which Axiata’s mobile operations largely offset through growth in data consumption and region-wide digitalisation.

He warned Axiata is concerned the current quarter could be impacted by delays in network equipment deliveries “due to the global supply chain disruption”. There are also worries about macroeconomic and regulatory risks, “inflationary pressure on SIMs” and a slower-than-anticipated recovery at its Ncell unit.

Nevertheless, Axiata now expects full-year revenue to beat headline KPIs with mid-single-digit percentage growth.

“Business-wise, we’re optimistic about improved data monetisation for digital telcos, the sustained growth momentum of Axiata Digital’s businesses as well as a pick-up in site rollouts for edotco with the easing of lockdown restrictions across markets,” Idris stated.

The executive also cited “encouraging” discussions with Malaysia’s government regarding 5G deployments.

In the same statement, the company detailed plans to pump MYR115 million ($27.1 million) into Axiata Foundation over a ten-year period commencing in 2022. Idris explained the initiative aims to “advance skills and knowledge required by Malaysian youths to thrive in the digital economy”.

At group level, Q3 net income attributable to owners of the company was flat year-on-year at MYR349.6 million, on revenue of MYR6.5 billion, up 7.1 per cent.

The company noted revenue gains (excluding device sales) for Celcom; Robi; Dialog; Smart; and its edotco infrastructure unit.

Ncell’s figure “slipped marginally” and XL was flat.

Axiata Digital’s revenue grew, credited to its Customer Engagement business, with net loss reduced by 60 per cent.

The unit’s fintech holding arm Boost added merchants and users, and Axiata expressed confidence a joint move with RHB Banking Group to secure a digital banking licence in Malaysia would bear fruit in early 2022.

In the nine-months to end-September, profit attributable to the owners increased 13.2 per cent to MYR702.9 million, with revenue up 5.9 per cent to MYR19 billion.



Michael Carroll

Michael doesn’t want to admit that he has been a journalist and editor for close to 20 years covering a diverse set of subjects including shipping and shipbuilding, fixed and mobile telecoms, and motorcycling...More

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