Axiata bullish on 2022 despite forex hit

Axiata Group raised its 2022 guidance despite macroeconomic challenges, after Celcom in Malaysia, XL in Indonesia and tower unit edotco delivered strong revenue growth in Q2.

In an earnings call, joint acting CEO Vivek Sood (pictured) said with the majority of its operating companies delivering solid operational results, the company is likely to exceed headline KPIs of mid-single-digit revenue growth and high-single-digit EBIT gains.

However, Hans Wijayasuriya, also acting co-CEO, noted over the medium-term the company is “cognisant of risks such as increased energy costs, global chip shortages and higher interest rates”.

Due mainly to foreign exchange losses in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the company booked a net loss of MYR106 million ($23.6 million), reversing a net profit of MYR278 million in Q2 2021. Total revenue increased 4.9 per cent to MYR6.7 billion.

Full-year capex guidance remains at MYR7.1 billion.

Sood said the merger between Celcom and Digi in Malaysia is progressing well and expected to close by the end of 2022.

Operating units
Celcom’s revenue increased 3.2 per cent to MYR1.7 billion, with net profit jumping 70.4 per cent to MRY285.8 million, as depreciation and amortisation costs dropped. XL saw revenue climb 13.2 per cent to MYR2.2 billion on data growth, while net profit improved 7.5 per cent to MYR132 million.

Bangladesh-based Robi’s revenue increased 4.7 per cent to MYR1 billion, but it slipped into the red, with a loss of MYR5.8 million, due to higher forex losses. Revenue at its Sri Lanka unit Dialog fell 23.8 per cent to MYR555.8 million on the weak local currency, booking a net loss of MYR205 million.

Its Nepal unit Ncell registered 4.2 per cent and 11.7 per cent gains in revenue and profit to MYR365.4 million and MYR63.3 million respectively. Smart in Cambodia saw revenue rise 2.5 per cent to MYR393.5 million and net profit increase 6.7 per cent to MYR84.8 million.

Edotco’s revenue grew 28.3 per cent to MYR616.2 million, with net profit up 3 per cent to MYR92.6 million.


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