XL Axiata Swings to Profit in 2016

BY :SARAH YUNIARNI

FEBRUARY 02, 2017

Jakarta. XL Axiata, Indonesia's second-largest mobile phone operator, posted Rp 376 billion ($28 million) in net income last year, a huge swing from Rp 25 billion losses the year before, thanks to the sales of cellular towers and favorable foreign-exchange conditions.

The operator closed its financial deal with Protelindo on June 30 last year for the sale of 2,500 telecommunication towers for Rp 3.56 trillion. Protelindo is a unit of Sarana Menara Nusantara, the telecommunications tower operator owned by the Djarum Group.

However, the operator's revenue dropped 6.6 percent to Rp 21.34 trillion last year from the year before due to subscribers shifting to data and internet services from voice and text services in the first half of last year.

"Last year, we mostly focused on strengthening our data network and that strength should continue and would be our basis to perform better this year," XL Axiata chief executive Dian Siswarini said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe on Thursday (02/02).

XL was able to gain revenue from data and internet services in the second half, contributing 50 percent of the company's total revenue by the last quarter of last year, compared to 30 percent in the same period in a year earlier.

The company currently has 8,200 4G towers in 100 cities in the archipelago.

The operator had 29 million data subscribers last year, up 64 percent compared to a year earlier. XL increased its number of subscriber by 11 percent to 46.5 million last year.

The company's blended average revenue per user – or the combined revenue of voice, text, and data service from each subscriber – rose to Rp 35,000 last year from Rp 34,000 in 2015.

XL's shares, which trade under the EXCL stock ticker on the Indonesian Stock Exchange (IDX), closed 2.1 percent higher at Rp 2,910 on Thursday, outperforming the 0.5 increase in the benchmark index.

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