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Axiata Q1 revenue jumps nearly 8 percent

Axiata Group Bhd believes opportunities in emerging markets such as Indonesia’s under-penetrated fibre broadband market offer growth opportunities for the group.

“On a balance, Axiata believes its revenue ex-device and earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) growth to be in line with its headline key performance indicators (KPIs) for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2023 (FY23),” the telecommunications company (telco) said in a statement.

In February, Axiata announced its FY23 headline KPIs, including mid-single digits for revenue growth and high single-digit for Ebit growth.

Axiata posted a net profit of RM73.8mil in the first quarter ended March 31 compared with a net loss of RM43mil a year earlier.

It recorded an earnings per share of 0.80 sen against a loss per share of 0.50 sen.

Revenue during the quarter rose to RM5.4bil from RM5bil last year.

Axiata said the strong topline growth was mainly driven by excellent performance across all operating companies or OpCos except for Dialog Axiata PLC, Robi Axiata Ltd, Ncell Axiata Ltd and ADA.

The group’s balance sheet remained steady, although gross debt over earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose to 3.79 times, mainly due to Celcom’s Ebitda exclusion. Cash balance stood at RM5.5bil.

For operations in Indonesia, revenue increased by 10.4% to RM2.17bil, mainly due to higher prepaid data and digital advertising revenue.

In Bangladesh, revenue remained flat at RM975.2mil, impacted by unfavourable foreign-exchange movements.

For its Sri Lanka operations, revenue fell by 15.1% to RM623.6mil, mainly due to depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee against the ringgit.

In Nepal, revenue fell by 9.5% to RM310mil due to lower pre-paid voice revenue impacted by downward revision in interconnect rates.

For Axiata’s business in Cambodia, revenue increased by 7.2% to RM396.9mil, driven by higher data revenue from growth in the pre-paid business.

Meanwhile, Axiata chairman Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the group’s positive start to the new financial year reflected its commitment to create value strategically as a market leader in the digital telco and infrastructure space.

Meanwhile, group chief executive officer and managing director Vivek Sood said Axiata is poised to weather the risks ahead and capitalise on the opportunities presented by building resilience in its markets. The Star

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