KUALA LUMPUR Feb 21 Malaysia's Axiata Group Bhd
, Asia's third-largest mobile services group outside
Japan and China by subscribers, said on Thursday that its
fourth-quarter net profit had risen 4.9 percent, boosted by
higher earnings at all of its operating companies.
Net profit rose to 571.1 million ringgit in the quarter
ended Dec. 31 from 544.6 million ringgit a year earlier, the
company said in a filing to the local stock exchange. The result
beat the average estimate of a 419.23 million ringgit profit in
a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of two analysts.
Revenue climbed 4.7 percent year-on-year to 4.5 billion
The company announced a 0.27 ringgit dividend.
"We have also lately seen increased competition, especially
in Indonesia, and this will continue to be one of our biggest
challenges in 2013," Axiata's president and group CEO Jamaludin
Ibrahim said in a statement.
Net profit for 2012 rose 7.2 percent to 2.51 billion
ringgit. Revenue climbed 8.4 percent year on year, according to
the filing. The average estimate among 26 analysts in a Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S poll was for a full-year profit of 2.73 billion
"We remain concerned over XL Axiata's aggressive capital
expenditure ambitions, which have yet to produce the desired
returns from data," Lim Tee Yang, analyst at Kuala Lumpur-based
RHB Research, wrote in a report on Wednesday.
"Hence, we believe earnings growth for XL remains
challenging and therefore, growth for Axiata will likely
moderate in 2013," Lim wrote.
Axiata shares were down 0.2 percent on Thursday,
outperforming the Malaysian benchmark stock index's 0.6
(Reporting By Yantoultra Ngui and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah;
Additional reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bangalore;
Editing by Chris Gallagher)