Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Axiata Group to beat 2009 targets as Q3 net doubles

By KP Lee of Dowjones Newswires

Malaysia-based mobile operator Axiata Group Bhd. said Monday it will exceed its full-year targets after its third-quarter net profit more than doubled due to a larger subscriber base and foreign exchange gains.

"The group has seen an acceleration of performance... across all operating companies," said Axiata, which has significant operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

"We are confident about our prospects for the rest of the year and of exceeding our full-year targets based on the three quarters of growth we have steadily and consistently achieved," the company said in a statement.

Axiata had earlier said it targeted revenue growth of between 6% to 11%, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization growth of between 4% to 6% and return on equity of 4% for the year.

Axiata said in a filing to the stock exchange that its net profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 rose to MYR503.7 million from MYR243.9 million a year earlier.

Revenue rose to MYR3.38 billion from MYR3.28 billion previously due to a larger subscriber base, Axiata said

The company also posted a foreign exchange gain of MYR140.0 million against a forex loss of MYR17.5 million a year earlier.For the nine-month period, Axiata said its net profit climbed to MYR1.09 billion from MYR1.01 billion a year earlier while revenue was higher at MYR9.41 billion against MYR8.93 billion previously.

The stronger performance for the nine months was primarily led by Malaysia's Celcom and Indonesian PT Excelcomindo Pratama, which recorded on-year revenue growth of 12% and 7%, respectively, due to increased subscribers, the company said.Subscriber net additions for the group as a whole were 25.3 million.


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