KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17): CelcomDigi Bhd's net profit rose 32.66% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in the quarter ended Sept 30, 2023 (3QFY2023) to RM455.72 million, from RM343.52 million in 2QFY2023, helped by lower regulatory and network related costs and lower marketing spend.
The improved q-o-q performance was despite a marginal 0.61% decline in revenue to RM3.1 billion from RM3.12 billion, on softer device sales and lower postpaid revenue, while prepaid and home and fibre revenues improved due to increased subscribers and data adoption.
The group added 123,000 subscribers in the quarter, expanding its base to 20.6 million, it said.
It declared a third interim dividend of 3.3 sen per share, bringing total dividends for the financial year so far to 9.7 sen per share, compared with 9.1 sen for the same period last year.
On a year-on-year basis after adjustments to reflect the Celcom-Digi merger, CelcomDigi’s profit after tax (PAT) before adjusting for minority interest slipped 3.77% from 3QFY2022 levels. The company had revised the useful life of its assets, and rationalised its sites after the merger. As a result, it depreciated some assets faster than a year ago, which ate into its earnings since 4QFY2022.
Revenue rose 1% from RM3.07 billion, as it sold more devices from a year ago. Similarly, postpaid revenue fell, while prepaid and home and fibre revenues rose, it said.
It noted that blended average revenue per user fell to RM40 in the quarter, down year-on-year (y-o-y) from RM42 in 3QFY2022, and down q-o-q from RM41 in 2QFY2023.
For the nine-month period ended Sept 30, 2023, PAT before minority interest adjustment fell 22.6% to RM1.13 billion, from RM1.46 billion a year ago, again due to the accelerated depreciation conducted since 4QFY2022.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose 3.6% y-o-y to RM4.56 billion, from RM4.4 billion previously, as revenue rose 2.2% to RM9.41 billion from RM9.21 billion, while total cost grew at a slower rate of 0.9%.
The full-scale network integration programme that commenced in April 2023 had uplifted network performances, with wider coverage and improved download speeds, said CelcomDigi.
“CelcomDigi is also actively spurring digitalisation and 5G adoption among consumer and businesses, through its affordable 5G device bundles and MY5G series, spearheading 5G thought leadership and promoting SME digitalisation (for small and medium enterprises),” it added.
In a separate statement, it added that it is on track with overall merger integration efforts, with network integration and modernisation reaching more than 4,400 sites as at end-October 2023.
“Capital expenditure (capex) increased 8.6% y-o-y to RM385 million in 3QFY2023, as the company prioritised investments in network capacity upgrades and information technology integration initiatives.
“CelcomDigi expects to accelerate capex investments in the final quarter of the year, as it continues to deliver on integration milestones across the organisation,” it said.
The full-year guidance remained unchanged, with flat to low single-digit Ebitda growth, with the capex-to-total sales ratio seen at 15% to 18%.
Shares in the telecommunications company slipped one sen or 0.2% to RM4.26 at Friday's noon market break, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM50 billion. The counter has climbed 6% this year.