Axiata Group: 2Q Net Profit at MYR407.21 Million Vs MYR188.93 Million a Year Ago

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

Axiata Group Bhd. (6888.KU), Malaysia's largest mobile-phone network operator by market value, said Wednesday that its second-quarter net profit more than doubled from a year earlier, largely due to improved profit contribution from almost all operating countries.

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The better on-year performance also came after profit in 2016 was dampened by foreign exchange translation loss arising from the weakened ringgit in 2016 against the U.S dollar compared with the same period in 2017, Axiata said in notes accompanying its financial statement filed to the local stock exchange.

Net profit for the April-June period rose more than 100% to 407.21 million ringgit (US$95.45 million) from MYR188.93 million a year earlier. This is higher than the MYR163.46 million mean estimates from Eikon.

Revenue increased 14.1% to MYR6.06 billion during the quarter from MYR5.31 billion a year earlier, on an increase in revenue contribution from all its major operating companies except for the operation in Malaysia.

Axiata, which counts Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. as a major shareholder, has more than 290 million subscribers in countries including Indonesia and Bangladesh, which helped to offset slowing growth in Malaysia.

The company said it expects its performance for the financial period ending Dec. 31, 2017 to be in line with headline key performance indicators.

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Its headline key performance indicators are revenue growth of 8-10%, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization growth of 6-8%, return on invested capital of 4.5-5% and return on capital employed of 4.0-4.5% this year, assuming an MYR4.14 per U.S dollar and no material fluctuations of regional currencies against the ringgit.

Meanwhile, Axiata's president and group chief executive officer Jamaludin Ibrahim said the company has raised its 2017 capital expenditure guidance to MYR7.1 billion from MYR6.6 billion previously.

Axiata shares ended Wednesday' midday break 0.6% lower at MYR4.82 a share, prior to the earnings release. The stock has climbed some 2% year-to-date.

-Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 30, 2017 01:35 ET (05:35 GMT)