A solid end to the year with positive momentum into 2015
2014 was a transformational year for Maxis Berhad (Maxis). The Company ended the year on a high note with another quarter of positive growth in service revenue and upward trend in operational indicators. From a declining momentum in the last few years, Maxis now moves into 2015 with a positive momentum.
For the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2014, Maxis registered a 2.2% quarterly growth in service revenue, up to RM2,094 million from RM2,049 million in Q3 2014. The year saw Maxis making great strides in transitioning the Company from a traditional voice-oriented telco to becoming a digital enabler. Maxis continued to grow its data revenue despite taking RM16 million revenue hit from the re-pricing of postpaid pay-per-use (PPU) charges, similar to the previous quarter. With the introduction of MaxisONE plan, the Company took away the very high PPU rates for data to give customers a worry-free experience. Mobile Internet (MI) revenue grew 8.4% this quarter driven by momentum gained from worry-free propositions and higher smart phone penetration. As at end of December 2014, Maxis had 8.8 million mobile internet users and a blended smart phone penetration of 57%. MI revenue now accounts for 32% of the mobile revenue.
Morten Lundal, Maxis Chief Executive Officer, said, "We had much to change as we entered 2014 and we have done exactly that. We made good progress in our transition to a high performing digital company. We are growing revenue generating subscriber (RGS) again particularly in prepaid where we had the biggest losses in the past years. This quarter alone, our new prepaid customers spiked to over half a million. More importantly, we are growing data revenue and the strong uptake in MI was able to compensate the SMS decline. We have also improved and modernised our network, which now is indisputably the best in Malaysia. With our improved network as well as the proactive measures we have taken to give customers a worry-free experience, our customer complaints have reduced by half compared to 2013. We are very proud of these achievements, but still there is much more work to be done. The good news is we now have positive momentum going forward and are well positioned to offer the best data network and an unmatched customer experience."
Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) was marginally lower at RM1,000 million against RM1,070 million in the previous quarter, primarily due to higher direct expenses from higher traffic and higher Sales and Marketing expenses to support the business. Consequently, normalised Profit After Tax (PAT) for the quarter was RM419 million versus RM494 million in Q3 2014.
Maxis invested RM1.1 billion in capex in 2014 for network modernisation, capacity and quality improvements as well as focused 4G coverage expansion. Its modernised 2G and 3G population coverage is now more than 75%. Maxis leads the 4G LTE population coverage in the country, approaching one third of the population and covering key market centres and state capitals.
The Company announced a fourth interim dividend of eight sen per share and will be recommending a final dividend of eight sen per share for approval at the forth coming Annual General Meeting.