Digi net profit for FY20 at RM1.22bil

Digi’s chief executive officer Albern Murty (pic) said the group had rallied against a challenging and uncertain market throughout 2020, driven by efficient operations and transformation initiatives.

KUALA LUMPUR: Digi.com Bhd posted a net profit of RM1.22bil in the financial year ended Dec 31,2020 (FY20), down 14.8% from RM1.43bil a year ago during a challenging and uncertain market due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The telecommunications company said revenue declined by 2.7% to RM6.15bil from RM6.29bil a year ago.

The board of directors declared a fourth interim tax exempt (single-tier) dividend of 3.6 sen per ordinary share (Q4 2019: 4.4 sen) for FY20, which will be paid on March 26.

The entitlement date is on March 1.

“A strong uptake in digital services and overall improved data usage resulted in a 9.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in Internet and digital revenue for FY2020. Disciplined operational efficiency initiatives yielded operational expenditure (opex) savings of -1.4% y-o-y, and Ebitda of RM3.08bil, in line with 2020 revised guidance, ” it said in a statement.

Digi invested RM773mil capex in FY20. As a result, its robust 4G long-term evolution (LTE) and LTE-A network coverage grew to 92% and 75% of the population nationwide respectively, alongside 9,981km of extensive fibre network.

Digi’s chief executive officer Albern Murty said the group had rallied against a challenging and uncertain market throughout 2020, driven by efficient operations and transformation initiatives.

“In the months ahead, we will maintain a sharp focus on accelerating our digital agenda and modernising our network and IT infrastructure to enhance customer-experience, as well as supporting the society’s recovery in this current climate, ” he added.

The group said throughout the year, it maintained its strong support to aid the nation’s Covid-19 recovery through the provision of free 1GB data daily for productivity and education, access to Penjana digitalisation grants for SMEs, and various Yellow Heart community initiatives to support critical humanitarian and emergency relief efforts.

On its Q4 financial performance, the group said its net profit declined by 18.3% to RM280.18mil from RM342.92mil a year ago. Revenue fell by 6.6% to RM1.56bil from RM1.68bil previously. Earnings per share were 3.6 sen compared with 4.41 sen.

It said service revenue was reduced by 1.7% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) on the back of weakened consumer and business spend due to ongoing conditional movement control order (CMCO) in certain states since October 2020.

“Nevertheless, Internet and digital revenue climbed to its highest in the last eight quarters to RM1.01bil, underpinned by our focus to strengthen sustainable revenue portfolio. The final quarter manifested our nimble execution on accelerating growth efforts, enhancing nationwide connectivity and protecting shareholder values, ” it said.

Elaborating on the Q4 results, it said total revenue reduced by -1.1% q-o-q and -7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM1.56bil despite growth in internet and digital contribution. Total cost improvement of -0.7% q-o-q and -8.2% y-o-y led by stringent cost saving initiatives.

Total data traffic grew 8.2% q-o-q and 28.2% y-o-y as a continued effect of CMCO. Its Internet users of 8.7 million, equivalent to 87.3% of penetration rate led by strong internet adoption.

In Q4, the company increased capex to RM275mil, catered to delivering fastest and most consistent network, driving customer engagements via digital channels, and curating relevant and best-in-value product offerings.

The efforts contributed to the net growth of postpaid and business subscribers.

While the market conditions continue to be challenging, Digi remained focused on its long-term strategic goals, set on solid fundamentals of robust financials, organisational agility and its trusted and responsible brand.

On the outlook, Digi said it would prioritise accelerating growth in core and digital businesses to re-capture the need for connectivity across prepaid, postpaid and fibre-to-the-home segments and investing in network and IT infrastructure modernisation to enhance customer experience.

It will drive financial sustainability via structural efficiency initiatives and cost containment efforts and commit to the highest standards of responsible business.

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