Axiata bottom-line hit by forex losses

Axiata Group’s top-line in Q1 benefited from growth across all its operating units except its Nepal unit Ncell, but the company registered a net loss due to significant foreign exchange losses.

President and CEO Izzaddin Idris stated in its earnings release the company is cautiously optimistic in its outlook for the rest of 2022.

He noted Axiata is “exercising prudence in our existing businesses through cost and operational efficiencies” and is “vigilant of the impacts” of inflation, increased energy costs and interest rates, currency volatility on macroeconomic factors and sustained supply chain issues.

Axiata maintained its full-year guidance for mid-single-digit growth in revenue.

It posted a net loss of MYR43 million ($9.8 million) compared with a profit of MYR75.6 a year earlier, with the bulk forex losses booked by Sri Lanka unit Robi.

Without the forex hit, it would have registered a MYR357.9 million profit.

Total revenue increased 6.7 per cent to MYR6.5 billion.

Operating units
Revenue at Celcom in Malaysia was flat at MYR1.7 billion, with improved prepaid performance and net profit more than doubling to MYR263.3 million on lower depreciation and amortisation costs.

XL in Indonesia revenue rose 9.8 per cent to MYR2 billion, fuelled by data gains, growth in the digital business and higher device sales. Net profit fell 44.2 per cent to MYR51.9 million on higher depreciation and amortisation costs, and lower one-off gains.

Bangladesh-based Dialog’s revenue increased 3.5 per cent to MYR981.3 million and net profit grew 18 per cent to MYR19.4 million, mainly resulting from lower taxes.

Robi posted 7.2 per cent growth in revenue to MYR734.8 million and a net loss of MYR304.1 million due to forex losses of MYR387.4 million. In its local currency, net profit rose 16.2 per cent to BDT398.3 million ($4.5 million).

Ncell’s revenue fell 9.4 per cent to MYR342.4 million, following an interconnection rate cut at the start of the year. Net profit declined 33.2 per cent to MYR44.4 million.

Smart in Cambodia recorded a revenue increase of 9.5 per cent to MYR370.4 million, while net profit rose 37.2 per cent to RM74.5 million.

Tower unit edotco recorded a 19.1 per cent increase in revenue to MYR563.7 million with profit flat at MYR101.4 million, impacted by higher depreciation and amortisation expenses, forex losses and finance costs.

Group capex dropped 13.1 per cent to MYR936 million, with spending at XL and Smart down 34 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

It earmarked MYR7.1 billion for the full year, up from MYR6.2 billion in 2021.

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