Axiata Group recorded double-digit revenue growth in the opening quarter of 2024, driven by a strong performance across most operating companies, while profit dropped on higher forex and finance costs.

Group CEO and MD Vivek Sood noted in a statement the company met its revenue targets and “achieved significant improvements in underlying operating profit”. He added it remains cautious about the macroeconomic outlook.

Net profit declined 18.7 per cent year-on-year to MRY60 million ($12.7 million), hit by a ten-times spike in forex costs to MYR196.6 million and 18 per cent higher finance expenses at MRY602 million. In constant currency terms, underlying PATAMI grew more than 100 per cent to MYR141.7 million.

Despite the decline in profit, the result follows three consecutive quarters of year-on-year losses.

Total revenue grew 13.3 per cent to MYR5.7 billion, fuelled by growth in all units except its fixed broadband operation in Indonesia Link Net.

The operator’s Indonesia mobile unit XL’s net profit doubled to MYR167 million, with revenue increasing 17.2 per cent to MYR2.4 billion as ARPU improved. Revenue at Robi in Bangladesh grew 11.2 per cent to MYR1.1 billion, driven by higher data revenue from prepaid; net profit also doubled to MYR45.9 million.

Dialog in Sri Lanka recorded a 4.7 per cent increase in revenue to MYR652.9 million, mainly due to appreciation of the local currency, but net profit dropped 61.4 per cent to MYR41.8 million as a result of lower forex gains and higher finance costs.

Revenue at its Cambodia unit Smart rose 19.1 per cent to MYR472.6 million, while net profit was up 23.7 per cent to MYR132.4 million.

Axiata’s tower company edotco posted 7.2 per cent revenue growth to MYR613.4 million but registered a net loss of MYR40.8 million on higher expenses and forex losses.

Link Net revenue slipped 2.1 per cent to MYR275.5 million, mainly due to lower enterprise revenue. It booked a loss of MYR33.1 million, attributed to higher depreciation and amortisation and finance costs to support network expansion.