Axiata’s Q3 net profit jumps 19pc

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KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd’s net profit jumped 19 per cent to RM808.41 million for the third quarter ended September 30 2012, from RM679.14 million in the same quarter previously.

Revenue for the quarter being reviewed grew to RM4.55 billion, compared with RM4.19 billion in the previous corresponding quarter.

Cumulatively, for the nine-month period, the group’s profit grew seven per cent to RM2.2 billion.

The growth was mainly due to higher contributions from Celcom, on the back of continued operational improvements across the main operating companies.

Underlying net profit, adjusting for normalised items, was RM2.5 billion, a solid eight per cent growth, said the company in a statement.

For the group, a revenue of RM13.2 billion was recorded in the nine-month period, representing a nine per cent year-to-date growth despite foreign exchange (forex) fluctuations and softening markets.

“The excellent performance was on the back of robust data business in Malaysia and Indonesia and higher number of active subscribers and usage in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh,” it said.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation grew five per cent, driven by higher voice and data services mainly at Celcom .

Axiata said it ended the third quarter in a strong financial position with a cash position of RM8.6 billion compared with RM6.8 billion a year ago.

“This enhanced balance sheet provides the group the flexibility for future organic growth and potential consolidation in various markets.”

It also added that strong growth is seen in regional mobile subscribers rate with a 14 per cent increase year-to-date to 213 million, despite softening of key markets.

On October 31, Axiata paid an interim dividend (tax exempt under single-tier system) of eight sen per share, equivalent to a total payout of RM681 million, to its shareholders.

President and group chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim said Axiata’s momentum is strong going into the last quarter of the financial year.

“Despite forex fluctuations and slowing growth in traditional businesses, we are confident about our prospects for the rest of the year and of meeting our full year targets based on the three quarters of growth we have steadily and consistently achieved,” it said.

Business Times : nation

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