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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hello's revenues sink again in Q3; profits rise

Hello's revenues sink again in Q3; profits rise

MALAYSIA’S Axiata said its Cambodian mobile-phone division suffered a second straight quarter of sliding revenues from July to September, again citing increased competition, although profits climbed on the back of costing-cutting measures.

An announcement late Monday said its Hello brand recorded a 5 percent drop in revenues compared with the second quarter – a period during which users increased 9 percent – and a 16 percent drop on the third quarter of 2008. Total users were up 28 percent compared with the same quarter last year, it added.

“TMIC’s [Hello] business operation continues to be challenging, with nine operators in the market with intense competition and heavy price cuts from the new entrants,” the announcement said.

Hello’s CEO Simon Perkins told the Post on Tuesday that cost-cutting measures had helped profits after tax soar 71 percent quarter on quarter, a 20 percent fall compared with the third quarter last year.

“We have embarked on a continued cost-control programme, which we need to do given the declining revenues, so that we can maintain or improve margins,” he said.

The company cut its tariffs to a flat US$0.07 both in and across networks during the period “that has had an impact on revenues”, he added.

In August, market leader Mobitel filed a legal action in Phnom Penh against new entrant Beeline that included accusations of price-dumping as competition on tariffs has increased this year.

Hello’s revenues fell 17.4 percent in the second quarter.

Net income more than doubled during the third quarter to 503.7 million ringgit ($148 million) from 243.9 million ringgit, Monday’s announcement said, prompting Axiata’s stock to gain 1.6 percent to 3.13 ringgit at the beginning of Tuesday trading on the Malaysian stock exchange.

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