KUALA LUMPUR-Axiata Group Bhd. (6888.KU), Malaysia's largest mobile-phone network operator by market value, said first-quarter net profit slumped 35% from a year earlier, due mainly to higher depreciation and amortization charges, coupled with higher finance costs and share of losses from associates.
Net profit for the January-March period fell to 239.02 million ringgit ($55.84 million) from MYR368.26 million a year earlier, according to a local stock-exchange filing. This beat the MYR208.27 million estimate of one analyst polled by Eikon.
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Revenue increased 17.4% to MYR5.88 billion during the quarter from MYR5.01 billion a year earlier, on the back of higher contribution from Nepal and Bangladesh, according to notes accompanying its financial statements that were filed to the local stock exchange.
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 helps it to offset slowing growth in Malaysia.
The company said it will continue to face challenges and remains cautious in executing its business strategies, according to notes accompanying its financial statements.
Axiata shares ended Thursday 4.4% lower at MYR4.98 a share, prior to the earnings release. The stock has climbed more than 10% year-to-date.
Write to Yantoultra Ngui at Yantoultra.Ngui@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 25, 2017 06:11 ET (10:11 GMT)