KUALA LUMPUR: Maxis Bhd posted net profit of RM319mil in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31,2020 and RM1.38bil for FY2020, proving its resilience amid a challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement issued on Friday, it said it closed 2020 with a resilient 4Q performance, registering stable service revenue and a healthy, normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), while maintaining a high EBITDA margin.
“Strengthening its leadership in converged solutions, the company’s 4Q 2020 performance was driven by healthy growth in its core mobile, enterprise and fibre businesses.
“Maxis continues to lead the postpaid segment, with another quarter of subscription growth. On the fibre front, the company is on a good momentum with steady growth in subscriptions from both families and businesses, ” it said.
Maxis’s 4Q net profit was lower by 9.6% compared with RM353mil a year ago while its revenue fell by 12.7% to RM2.26bil from RM2.59b. Earnings per share were 4.1 sen compared with 4.5 sen.
For FY20, its net profit was lower by 8.6% at RM1.38bil compared with RM1.51bil in FY19. Its revenue dipped by 3.7% to RM8.96bil from RM9.31bil.
It declared an interim dividend of four sen plus a special interim dividend of one sen net per share which will go ex on March 12 while the entitlement date is on March 15.
The highlights of its 4Q financial performance were:
* Service revenue (excluding wholesale) for the quarter is resilient at RM1.94bil, driven by growth in core mobile, enterprise and fibre.
* Healthy earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) (normalised) at RM939mil for the quarter.
* Maxis continued to lead in postpaid, with 3.5 million subscribers, an increase of 4.0% in 4Q 2020 from a year ago.
* Strong momentum in fibre with 444,000 subscribers, up by 20.3% in 4Q 2020 versus a year ago.
Maxis said its performance for the quarter reflected its continued agility in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 and the various Movement Control Order (MCO) phases, while keeping customers and businesses connected during these challenging times by maintaining a strong network infrastructure.
In a challenging year, Maxis committed to support the nation’s health and economy with several key initiatives, starting with an industry-wide effort to provide the free 1GB per day offering so that people and businesses remained connected at home. Subsequently, the free 1GB was targeted for learning and work productivity.
Maxis said due to the pandemic, there was higher pressure on prepaid and roaming revenues as well as lower traffic to its retail points.
However, there was also stronger demand for connectivity as a result of work from home arrangements and accelerated digitalisation by enterprises. Data traffic continued to surge during the quarter.
On a blended basis, Maxis customers used an average of 20.75GB a month, an increase of 38.42% year-on-year.
During the quarter, Maxis invested RM504mil in network capacity to support data traffic growth, as well as investment in fibre and enterprise growth, bringing total capex to RM1.25bil for the year.
Its CEO, Gokhan Ogut said the company’s agility in meeting the demands of this unique environment enabled it to continue to progress towards our convergence ambition.
“While we remain cautiously optimistic of the new norm for 2021, we will continue to develop more innovative solutions beyond mobile and create new opportunities for growth for businesses across industries.
“It was indeed a challenging year for everyone, particularly for those most impacted by the pandemic and floods, ” he said.
4Q FY20 financial highlights vs 4Q FY19
• Resilient service revenue (excluding wholesale) at RM1.94 billion driven by growth in core mobile, enterprise and fibre businesses.
• Leading the market with strong postpaid growth as subscriber base expanded by 4.0% to 3.5 million customers. The MaxisONE Plan and Hotlink Postpaid offerings contributed to the increase of more subscribers.
The MaxisONE Share and Hotlink Postpaid plans attracted entry level postpaid subscribers. There was also an ongoing momentum of pre-to-post migration. Postpaid revenue posted a slight dip of 2.2% to RM967 million due to a decrease in Mobile Termination Rate (MTR) and lack of international roaming income due to MCO since March 2020. Monthly ARPU remained strong at RM83 but experienced a dip from RM90 in Q4 2019.
• Prepaid continued to be under pressure with contraction in subscription by 4.4% to 6.0 million customers and lower ARPU at RM39 due to the continued SIM consolidation, successful migration to the Hotlink entry point Postpaid service and lower foreign worker base. Revenue declined 11.1% to RM696 million.
• Solid double-digit growth in home connectivity, with 21.8% increase in fibre and wireless subscribers year-on-year (yoy), bringing the total to 570k. Fibre connections continues its strong growth in subscriber base and revenue.
Strong adoption of MaxisONE Prime converged packages and ongoing conversion to higher speed packages of 300,500 and 800 Mbps resulted in 20.3% increase in subscribers to 444k subscribers and an 18.0% increase in revenue to RM144 million. The ARPU remained stable at RM107. Additionally, Maxis saw continued strengthening of wireless connection segment.
The new Fixed Wireless Broadband Access 4G/LTE home routers service which were initially introduced as a temporary solution during the initial MCO in 2020, when installations could not take place has since evolved as a solution to customers not in fibre coverage area and registered strong growth during the quarter. Subscriptions increased by 27.3% to 126k and revenue grew by 16.7% to RM35 million.
• Normalised EBITDA remained stable at RM939 million against RM945 million in Q4 2019. Meanwhile, Normalised EBITDA margin on service revenue remained high at 48.3%.
• Normalised profit after tax (PAT) of RM319 million, a decrease of 6.7% from RM342 million in Q4 2019 in line with lower service revenue and continuous CAPEX investments in growth areas.
• Strong operating free cash flow (OFCF) at RM1,139 million for the quarter, a 49.5% increase from RM762 million in Q4 the preceding year, largely due to our focus on working capital initiatives and higher collections from Universal Service Provision (USP) and other regulated projects.
• Increased adoption of digital services. With increasingly digital lifestyles, the Maxis and Hotlink apps continued to show strong adoption, as more and more customers opt for convenience, rewards, and ease of transactions. As at Q4 2020,73% of our prepaid mobile Internet customers are now using the Hotlink App against 63% last year, while 58% of our postpaid primary account holders are on the Maxis App, compared to 49% in the same period last year.
• A 4 sen interim dividend with an additional 1 sen special interim dividend was declared for the quarter. Maxis has maintained a prudent distribution throughout the year to allow for the Company to focus on serving its consumers, businesses, and communities during these challenging times. However, its agile response to the challenging economic environment and early gains from its working capital initiatives have given OFCF a boost, enabling the Company to declare a 1.0 sen special interim dividend in Q4.