Axiata books profit dip and exit from Nepal

Axiata books profit dip and exit from Nepal

Axiata Group reported profits were hit by an asset charge stemming from its Nepalese unit however growth was reported across most of its operators.

In a statement, the company detailed it saw loss widen to MYR797 million (US$171.5 million) in Q3 2023 from MYR52.4 million last year in the same quarter. This was blamed on an asset impairment charge stemming from its Nepalese operator Ncell, and lower share from CelcomDigi following its mega merger in 2022, but this was cushioned by lower forex losses. 

Axiata Group CEO and Managing Director, Vivek Sood, highlighted that Nepal was an “increasingly challenging” market which pushed the board to vote to exit Nepal and reclassify Ncell as an asset held for sale.

He added despite concerns surrounding the macroeconomic environment persisting, the company is expecting risks to subside as interest rates lower next year. 

“Our assets will continue to grow as market structure improves, price stability prevails and demand for mobile, digital and enterprise solutions remain,” said Sood.

Total revenue grew 5.3% to MYR6 billion, growing due to the 9.3% in Malaysia dollar terms (MYR2.5 billion) at Indonesian unit XL Axiata and Sri Lanka-based Dialog saw a 17.4 per cent rise to MYR675.1 million. 

Group Capex over the past nine months fell 21.8% to MYR3.8 billion, accounting for 21.8% of total revenue compared to 27.2% in 2022. 

Profits doubled in Bangladesh and Cambodia, as Robi and Smart saw earnings of MYR44.7 million and MYR108.5 million respectively. Robi reported revenues was up 4.7% to MUR1.1 billion and but Smart revenues fell 4.1% to MYR437.2 million. 

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