Digi’s Q2 earnings down 26% on higher finance costs

14 Jul 2020 / 23:00 H.

PETALING JAYA: Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 (Q2’20), fell 26.6% to RM288.04 million from RM392.48 million a year ago due mainly to higher finance costs.

Its revenue was 6.3% lower at RM1.45 billion versus RM1.55 billion last year, attributable to softer onground activities, coupled with free 1GB data and less economic activities during the movement control order (MCO) period.

Digi’s Q2’20 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) stood at RM770 million and operations cashflow at RM545 million. Wide-scale retail closure during the period however, affected the company’s acquisition activities, while roaming revenues were under significant pressure from a near-complete ban on inbound and outbound travel. Overall data monetisation and traditional voice usage was also impacted.

Digi CEO Albern Murty said this was a well-fought quarter with a solid focus on operational efficiency driving business resilience, and on network excellence to support growing customer demand amid impact from Covid-19.

“As we see run rates gradually return in June, we believe these proactive and well-coordinated business continuity efforts position us well to drive continued operational resilience in the second half of 2020. Our focus is to deliver business priorities to create value for stakeholders and to play a key role in supporting the society’s recovery in the new normal.”

In Q2’20, the company invested RM225 million capex for network enhancements to maintain service quality and availability nationwide, and to cater to rising data demand for learning and productivity needs. An additional 29% new and upgraded sites were deployed in H1’20 versus a year ago, expanding Digi’s 4G LTE and LTE-A network coverage to 91% and 74% of the population nationwide, and fibre network to 9,740km.

For the six-month period, Digi’s net profit fell 15.5% to RM620.03 million from RM733.98 million; while revenue was 1.5% lower at RM3.01 billion compared with RM3.06 billion in the previous year.

Digi declared a second interim tax exempt (single-tier) dividend of 3.7 sen per share, payable on Sept 25.

The company sees business activity resuming to pre-MCO levels and remains committed to keep its 2020 strategy on track despite the ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

For the near term, Digi will prioritise segmented and best-in-value propositions to deliver on core and digital businesses; optimising spend and cash management efforts to secure resilient cash flow; enhancing channel digitalisation and modernisation across sales, marketing and distribution; as well as strengthening network and IT infrastructure to support growing internet and digital adoption.

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