Axiata soars after reporting two-fold rise in 3Q net profit

Axiata soars after reporting two-fold rise in 3Q net profit
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 27): Shares of Axiata Group Bhd leaped as much as 13.13% or 44 sen after the group reported a near two-fold increase in third quarter net profit.

At 4pm, the counter pared gains to RM3.74, up 39 sen or 11.64%, but remained as the fifth top gainer on Bursa Malaysia, with a market capitalisation of RM34.29 billion.

Some 16.26 million shares were traded, far exceeding its 200-day average volume of 4.91 million.

In about slightly more than a month, the counter has gained 40.6% from the recent trough of RM2.66 on Oct 21.

Axiata announced a 96.9% increase in its net profit for the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2020 to RM352.99 million, from RM179.27 million a year earlier, thanks to higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as result of lower depreciation and amortisation, plus narrower forex loss and tax.

Quarterly revenue, however, slipped 1.6% to RM6.11 billion from RM6.21 billion due to a decline in all operating companies except mobile operations in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the infrastructure segment.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Axiata’s results were even more impressive, with net profit jumping 341.1% from RM80.02 million in the preceding quarter, while revenue grew 5.5% from RM5.79 billion.

For the cumulative nine months ended Sept 30, however, net profit plunged 44.8% to RM621.12 million, from RM1.12 billion last year, while revenue slid 2.1% to RM17.94 billion from RM18.32 billion.

Axiata president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said the current fourth quarter has become challenging again as some countries including Malaysia have reimposed lockdowns.

“This has affected many businesses and customers, consequently impacting our business too. There’s also heightened competition especially in Indonesia,” he said.

Read also:
Axiata 3Q net profit doubles to RM353m, but warns of challenging 4Q as lockdowns reimposed

S Kanagaraju