Malaysia’s Axiata reported a 27 percent jump in third-quarter profit, boosted by increased demand for the carrier’s data services and improved contributions from regional operations.
Faced with an intensely competitive domestic market, which has seen mobile penetration rates surpass 100 percent, Axiata has expanded in the region with its Indonesian unit contributing substantially to its revenue.
Celcom, its domestic unit, saw a 24 percent jump in profit driven by increased adoption of its mobile broadband services.
“Our operating companies have performed strongly, with Celcom and XL leading in the data space, Dialog consolidating its turnaround and Robi continuing strongly in its growth trajectory,” said Chief Executive Jamaludin Ibrahim.
Dialog and Robi are the company’s Sri Lanka and Bangladesh operations, respectively.
Earlier this month, its Indonesian unit Pt XL Axiata reported earnings growth of 73 percent for the first nine months of 2010.
Difficult market conditions weighed down earnings at India’s Idea Cellular , a 20 percent-owned associate, although subscriber additions rose 44 percent.
Axiata Group’s third-quarter profit rose 27 percent to 639.13 million ringgit . Mobile subscribers increased 38 percent to 149 million.
Axiata is on track to surpass its full-year profit estimate of 2.4 billion ringgit. Eighteen out of 23 analysts tracked by Thomson I/B/E/S have either a “buy” or “strong buy” on the stock.
Earlier this month rival DiGi.com posted a 19 percent net profit growth last month for the same quarter under consideration. Maxis , Malaysia’s largest mobile operator, is slated to announce its results next week.
Axiata has been the best performing telco stock, appreciating by 47 percent this year, followed by DiGi’s 11 percent rise and a 1.5 percent drop in Maxis. The broader FBM KLCI benchmark index has risen 17 percent this year.
Shares of the company were down 0.2 percent at 4.47 ringgit.