Axiata Group maintained full-year earnings guidance at the same level as 2023, forecasting mid-single-digit revenue growth after booking a net loss in the final quarter of the year following asset impairment charges and higher finance costs.

On an earnings call, CEO and MD Vivek Sood noted the company is well positioned for the next phase of growth following a merger of its Malaysia unit and sale of Ncell in Nepal.

He said its allocation of resources and investments toward growth sectors is “yielding positive results” and he was encouraged by most of its regional units delivering one of their most profitable performances and gaining market share.

A net loss of MYR965 million ($145.5 million) compared with a profit of MYR10 billion in Q4 2022, due mainly to a one-off gain on the Celcom-Digi merger.

The operator attributed the loss to higher depreciation and amortisation expenses, and net finance costs at broadband provider Link Net tower company edotco, coupled with a lower share of earnings from CelcomDigi following the merger.

Total revenue grew 7.2 per cent to MYR5.8 billion, led by a 14.3 per cent gain to MYR2.5 billion at XL in Indonesia and a 14.7 per cent increase to MYR297.2 million at edotco.

Revenue grew 6.3 per cent to MYR1.1 billion at Bangladesh-based Robi, 10.3 per cent to MYR466.5 million at Smart (Cambodia) and 3.5 per cent at Dialog (Sri Lanka) to MYR627 billion.

Full-year capex declined 24 per cent to MYR5 billion.

It earmarked MYR6.1 billion for 2024.