MAXIS Communications Bhd has posted a whopping group pre-tax profit of RM1.28bil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2002 compare with RM777.6mil in the corresponding period a year earlier.
Group turnover also surged to RM3.8bil from RM3bil previously. Net profit increased by 58% to RM949.7mil against RM600.9mil in the previous corresponding period.
On a quarterly basis, group pre-tax profit rose to RM332.4mil in the 4th quarter on the back of a turnover of RM1.02bil.
According to Maxis chairman Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar, the results shows that the company's fundamentals remain strong “despite a challenging market environment with aggressive price cuts and heavy promotions.”
“Accordingly, Maxis has surpassed its net profit forecast of RM825mil in its listing prospectus by 15%,” he said when announcing the company results in Kuala Lumpur yesterday,.
Maxis chief executive officer Datuk Jamaludin Ibrahim said the company's exceptional financial performance was driven primarily by a robust growth of 35% in its subscriber base and 243% in data revenue.
“The group's focus has always been on profitability and cash rather than purely market share, as proven by a profit after tax amount of RM949.7mil and RM1.8bil cash in hand,” he said.
Maxis said some 800,000 new subscribers last year to 3.09 million, comprising 1.1 million post-paid and 1.99 million prepaid customers.
“Our base in made up of premium customers as shown by Maxis' stable average revenue per user (ARPU), stable churn and low bad debt, all which reflects the company's focus on quality,” Jamaludin said.
Referring to Maxis' strong growth in data revenue, Jamaludin said the SMS usage had increased substantially.
The company's total billable SMS in-creased by 2.5 times to more than RM235mil.
On prospects, he said Maxis was well positioned for future growth with the company's strategy of protecting and growing its mobile customer base and exploiting new growth opportunities.
He said the company would also aggressively roll out more products and services especially those related to mobile data and continue to drive efficiency, reduce cost and increase productivity.
“We are confident with our pros-pects, considering Maxis achieved strong financial results last year despite challenging conditions and we spent months working on our listing and the acquisition of TimeCel Sdn Bhd from TIME Dotcom Bhd,” Jamaludin said. “The TimeCel acquisition is expected to be completed by the first half of this year and the merger integration is expected (to be completed in) a further 12 to 15 months.”
For this year, Maxis plans to invest about RM1bil in capital expenditure, mostly for network quality improvements, capacity upgrades and service platforms.
Also encouraged by its strong growth in mobile data, Maxis will aggressively roll out and promote more new data services including multimedia messaging services, Java games, m-commerce services, more downloads and other SMS-based services to capitalise on the data trend to sustain growth in the coming years.
For the financial year ended Dec 31, 2002, the company directors are recommending an interim tax exempt dividend of 6 sen per share to be paid on April 7 and a final gross dividend of 12.5 sen per share less tax to be paid at a date to be determined later.