Straits Herald August 29, 2019

Axiata Group Bhd posted a net profit of RM204.09 million in the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 (2QFY19), from a net loss of RM3.36 billion in the corresponding quarter last year.

Filings to Malaysia’s Bursa, shows reported 2QFY19 earnings per share (EPS) of 2.2 sen, from loss per share (LPS) of 37.1 sen in the corresponding quarter last year.

Quarterly revenue increased by 4.88% to RM6.15 billion, from RM5.87 billion in 2QFY18.

For the first half the year, they posted a cumulative net profit of RM913.15 million, from a net loss of RM3.5 billion in the corresponding period last year.

That would register an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of 10 sen, from a Loss Per Share (LPS) of 38.7 sen last year.

Axiata says the reason they are back in the black is due to better performance on at least and the discontinuation of losses related to its investment in India.

Board is pleased to announce a dividend of 5 sen per share.

Axiata Chairman, Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid

Commenting on the first half results, Axiata Chairman Ghazzali Sheikh Abdul Khalid says that they are committed to deliver value to its shareholders.

“The board is pleased to announce a dividend of 5 sen for the financial year ended 31 December 2019. This is consistent with the Group’s moderate growth,” Ghazzali says.

Axiata President & Group CEO, Jamaludin Ibrahim says streamlining various businesses within the group brought about fruitful benefits.

“Following our portfolio rationalisation of non-core assets… we are pleased to deliver a very good set of tangible results…,” Jamaludin says.

“With this, we (Axiata) believe that we can meet our headline KPIs of 2019,” he adds.

Axiata is in talks with a mega-merger with Norway’s Telenor. This would be one of the biggest mergers in Asia Pacific this year.

Multi market entries are poised to position the Axiata-Telenor merger to be the biggest Telco player in Southeast Asia.

However, negotiations are not proving easy. With a few sources that the Straits Herald spoke to have revealed that this mega-billion dollar deal might not see the light of day.

Read: Axiata merger hangs in the balance

Malaysia’s big government see many companies – Axiata included – is owned by various government bodies.

It is interesting to see if the promising 2Q19 results Axiata have posted would be a catalyst for them to continue on the way there are, or would it make for a stronger case for them to push forward for the merger with Telenor to be done quicker.