DiGi's 4Q profit strengthens on solid postpaid growth, pays 4.8 sen dividend

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 24): DiGi.com Bhd announced today a 4.9% net profit growth in its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2018 (4QFY18) to RM377.80 million, from RM360.08 million a year ago, which it attributed to a solid postpaid growth and efficient cost management.

Revenue for the quarter under review grew 1.8% to RM1.67 billion, from RM1.64 billion in the same quarter in the previous year, due to higher demand for its postpaid plans, its stock exchange filing today showed.

DiGi's board of directors declared a fourth interim dividend of 4.8 sen per share, payable on March 29. This brings its full FY18 dividend payout to 19.6 sen, versus 18.8 sen for FY17.

The group said it achieved a five-year high postpaid revenue growth of 14.8% to close FY18 at RM2.52 billion, which "significantly contributed to improved service revenue trajectory". Postpaid revenue contributed 42.5% to the group's total FY18 service revenue of RM5.92 billion.

It registered 75,000 net adds during the quarter, which brings its total postpaid subscribers for the year to 2.8 million.

"In 4QFY18, postpaid revenue grew 15.0% year-on-year and 4.2% quarter-on-quarter to RM667 million while postpaid internet revenue rose 26.1% year-on-year and 5.3% quarter-on-quarter to RM440 million.

"Prepaid internet subscribers climbed up to 6.7 million while internet revenue increased 2.8% year-on-year and 2.5% quarter-on-quarter to RM409 million or 50.2% of prepaid revenue," it said.

However, due to lower non-internet prepaid revenue, DiGi said overall prepaid revenue fell 12.6% year-on-year.

Overall, DiGi's subscriber base was trimmed to 11.7 million as a flow through from sim contraction among legacy prepaid subscribers, but internet subscribers continued to strengthen to 9.2 million or 78.6% of subscriber base while average revenue per user (ARPU) were kept steady at RM41 as at end-FY18.

For the full year, DiGi's net profit rose 4.3% to RM1.54 billion from RM1.48 billion in FY17, while revenue grew 2.9% to RM6.53 billion from RM6.34 billion.

Its full-year service revenue of RM5.92 billion is consistent with prior year and in line with its 2018 guidance, although adversely impacted by mobile termination rate revision. Meanwhile, internet revenue for the year summed up to RM3.23 billion, 19.9% higher than the prior year.

For FY19, DiGi said it is confident of maintaining its service revenue and guided for a low single-digit earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) growth.

At 2.46pm, shares in DiGi slid one sen or 0.22% to RM4.51, bringing a market capitalisation of RM35.07 billion.