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KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd’s net profit jumped to RM 277.76 million for the second quarter (Q2) ended June 30, 2021 compared to RM80.02 million a year ago mainly due to higher top line, lower finance costs on the back of lower borrowings and lower taxes incurred during the quarter.

Revenue also improved to RM6.39 billion from RM5.80 billion recorded previously.

In a statement, its president and group CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris said most operating companies delivered at a strong pace during the quarter including Celcom’s continuing turnaround driven by its ongoing transformation programme.

“Exemplifying resilience in an intensely challenging market to add subscribers in the past year, we look forward to stabilisation moving forward,” he said.

Axiata said Celcom’s turnaround efforts yielded excellent recovery momentum in the market despite an intensely competitive environment.

“With Axiata Digital paving the path for future growth, the series of deals delivered by our digital businesses include the RM250 million investment by SoftBank Corp into ADA, the strategic partnership with RHB Banking Group to strengthen our digital bank proposition and Boost Holdings’ expanded Indonesia reach through the PT Creative Link acquisition, as well as ADA’s acquisition of Awake Asia, a regional eCommerce enabler. It is encouraging and timely to see we have entered a highly exciting growth phase for our digital businesses.”

For the first half of the year, net profit stood higher at RM353.31 million compared to RM268.12 million previously, while revenue was RM12.45 billion versus RM11.82 billion previously.

“Revenue ex-device increased by 4.6 per cent year-to-date (YTD) thanks to the strong prepaid performance as the company recorded net adds of 1.02 million subscribers and 12.5 per cent prepaid revenue growth, as well as higher mobile virtual network operator revenue,“ said the company.

Axiata Digital’s YTD net loss narrowed by 65.1 per cent thanks to lower marketing spend at digital financial services (DFS), coupled with higher profit at Axiata Digital Advertising Sdn Bhd, while revenue and EBITDA grew by 125.3 per cent and 68.5 per cent respectively.

“Revenue growth during the quarter was spurred by improvements recorded in the DFS and digital analytics and AI businesses.

“During the quarter, Axiata Digital’s fintech arm Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd acquired a 68.75 per cent stake in an Indonesian licensed entity, PT Creative Mobile Adventure which has enlarged Boost Holdings’ regional footprint to reach underserved micro-SMEs in Indonesia,“ it added.

On Axiata’s infrastructure business, it said the edotco Group Sdn Bhd’s YTD revenue grew by 3.2 per cent as a result of higher contribution mainly from its major markets Malaysia and Bangladesh, and similar encouraging contributions from its smaller markets including Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Axiata chairman Tan Sri Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid announced an interim dividend of four sen per share to its shareholders.

“With the successful conclusion of due diligence and signing of transaction agreements between parties in the run-up to complete the Celcom-Digi merger, we are now making steady progress in the ongoing regulatory approval stage.

“On that note, the board remains committed towards ensuring that this merger delivers the best outcomes to serve the digital needs of our customers and nation,” he added.

At lunch break today, Axiata’s share price stood at RM4.04 per share. – Bernama

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