Axiata posts revenue of RM22bil for FY23

The group will continue focusing on its five strategic vectors for 2024.

PETALING JAYA: Telecommunications giant Axiata Group Bhd has announced it will be exiting the Myanmar market after posting a net loss of RM1.99bil for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY23) on a turnover of RM22bil, compared to a net profit of RM9.75bil the year before.

This represented a loss per share of 21.7 sen in FY23 against an earnings per share of 106.3 sen in the previous year.

Group chief executive officer and managing director Vivek Sood said its earnings in 2023 were impacted mainly by Nepal’s NCell Axiata Ltd and edotco Myanmar asset impairment, higher net finance cost and lower share of results of CelcomDigi Bhd.

The group exited Nepal last year on Dec 1, 2023, while the sale for Myanmar’s edotco is still ongoing.

“As for the exits, the decision was made because of the uncertainty and deteriorating environment.

“Because of this, we are committed to protecting further risks, so right now we need to focus on markets where we think we can get better returns,” he said to reporters during Axiata’s FY23 financial results announcement yesterday.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2023, the telco said it posted a net loss of RM695.02mil on the back of a higher revenue, driven by its OpCos brand except for its mobile operations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Revenue increased by 1.72% to RM5.79bil, as compared to RM5.70bil in the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23).

It declared a second interim dividend of five sen per share, bringing the total dividend for FY23 to 10 sen per share.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) rose 11.7% to RM9.6bil, following the improved revenue contribution from all operating companies except Boost.

The group said its profit after taxation and minority interest recorded a loss of RM125mil due to significantly lower foreign-exchange losses, offset by higher interest expense, which represented a 95.2% improvement over the previous year.

Meanwhile, Vivek said he expects Boost Bank to be ready for launching by the second quarter of this year.

He noted the plans were on track while shareholders are committed to building the bank and taking the group to profitability.

“The commitment from shareholders is there to ensure that it is fully funded and meets the regulatory requirements,” he said.

He added the group will continue focusing on its five strategic vectors for 2024, which is set to include the strategic and structural transformation in Indonesia.

Vivek said the key would be to transform the business in Indonesia currently by splitting it into a fixed fibre wholesale one.

“We want to move into a strong fixed mobile operator, this will be a big one for us,” he said.

Additionally, chairman Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the board will remain focused on executing its strategies to achieve its aspiration as a stable dividend company.

“The board continues to focus on solid business fundamentals as Axiata accelerates its pace in the journey towards Telco-TechCo status and transforms its portfolio, as we evolve to become an integral player in the region’s digital and technology ecosystem.”

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