Axiata Group recorded growth across most of its operating companies in Q3, driven by gains following its purchase of broadband provider Link Net in Indonesia, an improved operational performance at XL and Robi, and its tower businesses’ consolidation of acquisitions in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Group CEO Vivek Sood explained in its earnings release that despite continued concerns over the macroeconomic environment, the company believes risks will subside as interest rates start to fall.
Sood added it is on track to meet it 2023 headline KPIs, including mid-single-digit revenue growth.
He noted the outlook in Nepal is increasingly challenging, with its board deciding to exit the market and reclassify Ncell as an asset held for sale.
The group’s net loss widened to MYR797 million ($171.5 million) from MYR52.4 million in Q3 2022 due to asset impairment charges related to Ncell and a lower share from CelcomDigi following a merger in late 2022.
Total revenue rose 5.3 per cent to MYR6 billion, fuelled by 9.3 per cent growth in Malaysia dollar terms (MYR2.5 billion) at XL in Indonesia and a 17.4 per cent rise to MYR675.1 million at Sri Lanka-based Dialog.
Sales at Robi in Bangladesh grew 4.7 per cent to MYR1.1 billion and its profit doubled to MYR44.7 million.
Cambodia-based Smart’s revenue fell 4.1 per cent to MYR437.2 million, but profit also doubled to MYR108.5 million.
Its tower unit edotco booked a 10.8 per cent increase in revenue to MYR692.5 million.
Group capex over the first nine months fell 21.8 per cent to MYR3.8 billion, accounting for 21.8 per cent of total revenue compared with 27.2 per cent in the same period of 2022.
Capex at Robi increased 10.7 per cent to MYR578 million.