KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- Axiata Group Bhd saw its net loss widen to RM797.41 million in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (3Q FY2023) from RM52.40 million in 3Q FY2022 mainly due to asset impairment from its discontinued operations in Nepal and lower contribution from CelcomDigi.
However, revenue grew 6.1 per cent to RM5.70 billion from RM5.37 billion, mainly contributed by all operating companies except for the mobile operations in Cambodia and fixed broadband operations in Indonesia.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Axiata said the losses were mainly attributed to the classification of Ncell as discontinued operations following the group's decision to exit from Nepal as well as the highly probable sale of the company.
"Profit after tax (PAT) and profit after tax and minority interest (Patami) contributions from discontinuing operations for 3Q FY2023 is a loss of RM1.02 billion and a loss of RM824.50 million, respectively.
"This includes the provision for impairment of assets of RM1.01 billion (Patami: RM811.0 million)," it said.
Axiata said that following the completion of the merger between Celcom and Digi on Nov 30 2022, the group’s share of the financial results of CelcomDigi Bhdd were recorded under continuing operations from Dec 1, 2022 onwards, while Celcom’s financial results prior to that were presented as discontinued operations.
It said that there was no PAT and Patami contribution from discontinued operations for 3Q FY2023 compared to the recognition of gain on disposal of Celcom of RM402 million as a result of the completion of final closing adjustments in the second quarter of FY2023.
It said the PAT and Patami for continuing operations increased by more than 100 per cent to RM108 million and RM27.1 million, respectively.
The group said the higher PAT and Patami were mainly driven by higher toplines, lower foreign exchange losses and share of profits from associates, mainly from CelcomDigi Bhd, partially offset by higher depreciation and amortisation and higher finance costs.
For the quarter, Indonesia’s XL Axiata revenue increased by 9.3 per cent to RM2.4 billion mainly due to higher prepaid data and digital advertising revenue, but PAT decreased by 6.9 per cent to RM111.4 million, impacted by higher depreciation and amortisation, finance costs, and share of losses from associates, partially cushioned by higher toplines and lower taxes.
Bangladesh’s Robi reported higher revenue of RM1.08 billion amid higher data revenue from prepaid business and PAT by more than 100 per cent to RM44.7 million.
The revenue of Dialog in Sri Lanka widened by 17.4 per cent to RM675.5 million following higher data revenue, while PAT decreased by 45.7 per cent to RM45.9 million, mainly due to higher depreciation and amortisation, foreign exchange losses of RM18.7 million resulting from US dollar-denominated loans and liabilities, coupled with higher finance costs and taxes.
Cambodia’s Smart registered a lower revenue of RM437.3 million, which was cushioned by higher data revenue from growth in postpaid business and higher wholesale revenue. PAT increased by more than 100 per cent to a profit of RM108.5 million.
Axiata said Axiata Digital & Analytics’ (ADA) revenue improved by 1.6 per cent to RM246.4 million but PAT reported a loss of RM10.1 million.
"Boost revenue climbed 21.7 per cent to RM32 million, driven by monetisation of marketing assets and higher interest income from loan disbursements, while PAT declined by 6.1 per cent to a loss of RM59.3 million," it said.
Meanwhile, Axiata said Indonesia's fixed broadband business revenue went down to RM295.2 million, and PAT turned to a loss of RM43.9 million mainly due to lower toplines coupled with higher finance costs to support the network expansion.
It said the infrastructure division's revenue rose to RM692.5 million from organic growth, mainly from Malaysia and contribution from the new acquisition of towers in the Philippines.
Group chief executive officer and managing director Vivek Sood said while concerns of macroeconomic volatilities persist, Axiata believes risks will subside as interest rates start to lower in 2024.
“Our assets will continue to grow as market structure improves, price stability prevails and demand for mobile, digital and enterprise solutions remain,” he said in a separate statement.
He added that Axiata also remains on track towards meeting its 2023 headline key performance indicators.
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