PETALING JAYA: Celcom Axiata Bhd, whose earnings grew 11.7% in the first half of the year, is unfazed by increasing competition between Malaysian mobile network operators (MNO) following the shelved merger talks between Axiata Bhd and Digi.com Bhd’s parent company Telenor.
“A competitive market is good and we hope it remains at a healthy and sustainable level. If the market is overly competitive, it might not be healthy in the long term, as telcos need to reinvest in their network,” said Celcom CEO Idham Nawawi (pix) at the company’s results briefing today.
However, he conceded that the consolidation within the telco players is inevitable, as India has seen its telcos consolidate to three players and the same situation also played out in Indonesia.
Celcom reported a profit after tax and amortisation (PATAMI) of RM365 million in the first half of 2019, an 11.7% increase from RM327 million recorded in the same period last year, due to savings from continuous cost optimisation, partly negated by higher cost from network expansion.
Total revenue for the period, however, fell 7.9% to RM3.33 billion from RM3.61 billion previously, attributed to the revision of wholesale rates. Mobile services revenue also dropped 4.1% to RM2.89 billion from RM3.02 billion.
For the second quarter of the year, Celcom’s average revenue per user (ARPU) came in at RM85 for its three million postpaid subscribers, with revenue for the segment expanding 1.8% quarter-on-quarter (qoq) to RM635 million.
ARPU for the prepaid segment stood at RM37 for the 5.77 million users while revenue for the segment gained 4% qoq to RM596 million.
Celcom has spent RM394 million in capital expenditure for the first half of the year, out of the RM1 billion allocated for 2019.