Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Smart Axiata posts $67M in profit

Smart Axiata posts $67M in profit

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian mobile operator Smart Axiata posted a net profit of $67.6 million last year. Heng Chivoan

Smart Axiata posts $67M in profit

Cambodian mobile operator Smart Axiata posted a net profit of $67.6 million last year, a slight drop from 2017 and down to what the firm said were unfavourable forex conversions.

Smart Axiata’s net profit in 2017 was $68.1 million.

According to a Smart Axiata statement provided to The Post on Tuesday, the firm’s revenue last year grew seven per cent to $287.5 million, while its “ebitda” – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation – increased six per cent to $134.8 million.

However, the subsidiary of Malaysian’s Axiata Group posted a decline in net profit as it converted its financial performance results in Cambodia to a parent company report in Malaysian ringgit.

“In absolute terms, that is, in USD currency, Smart again outperformed its peers by achieving positive year-on-year growth despite having to face intense industry competition,” the statement read.

It added that the firm’s 2018 revenue increase was fuelled by 28 per cent data growth, with data accounting for 60 per cent of total revenue.

“Although several challenges related to the regulatory environment and market price elasticity are concerns for the Cambodian telecommunications market, Smart remains cautiously optimistic about the company’s financial performance for the coming year.”

Smart plans to earmark approximately $80 million in capital expenditures this year for network expansions and enabling advanced mobile technologies. It expects to further strengthen its mobile data leadership while introducing new digital, entertainment and lifestyle offerings to millions of Cambodians.

In July last year, Axiata Group sold a 10 per cent stake in Smart Axiata to Japanese group Mitsui Co Ltd for a second time. The Japanese firm holds 20 per cent of Smart Axiata, while Axiata Group still has the majority interest at 72.5 per cent. The remaining 7.5 per cent is owned by Southern Coast Ventures.

According to an Axiata Group report, the company paid $16.9 million in profit tax last year.

Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia spokesperson Im Vutha said the Kingdom’s telecom sector is growing, with revenue continuing to increase despite greater competition in the industry.

He added that the success of Cambodia’s telecom operators have contributed to government revenue through taxes, annual licensing fees and other non-tax revenue.

“Future economic trends will be digitally based, so we believe that telecom companies will use more of their profit to invest in infrastructure and will be more helpful in boosting the local economy,” he said.

He added that industry growth is not only beneficial to the Kingdom in government revenue, but also helps boost other sectors, such as education and business.

According to Ministry of Post and Telecommunications figures released last month, the number of registered SIM cards provided to the Kingdom’s mobile operators reached 19.3 million by the end of last year, a nearly four per cent increase from the end of 2017.

The figure is equivalent to 120 per cent of Cambodia’s total population of more than 16 million.

Last week, Vietnamese military telecom firm Metfone celebrated 10 years of operating in Cambodia and posted an accumulated revenue of more than $2.2 billion during its nine years in the Kingdom, with an accumulated profit reaching $300 million.

The firm also reported that it has contributed an accumulated $500 million in taxes to the Cambodian government.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Police arrest 29 Chinese for kidnapping in capital

    Phnom Penh Military Police arrested 29 Chinese nationals on kidnapping charges on Wednesday. The suspects are said to have abducted three other Chinese nationals from a hotel in Chaktomuk commune, Daun Penh district. The operation took place on Wednesday and was led by two deputy commanders –

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia