Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Smart posts midyear gains

Smart posts midyear gains

Since the end of 2012, Smart’s subscriber base has more than doubled to 5.9 million
Since the end of 2012, Smart’s subscriber base has more than doubled to 5.9 million. Pha Lina

Smart posts midyear gains

Mobile service provider Smart has outperformed its fellow Axiata Group subsidiaries in the first half of the year, according to the Malaysian conglomerate’s latest financial report.

Driven by a 115 per cent increase in data traffic revenue, Axiata’s results show Smart’s gross revenue totalled 270 million ringgit ($85.7 million) at the end of the first six months of the year, up more than 58 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Profits after tax for the local telecom provider reached 47 million ringgit, up 147 per cent year-on-year.

“While certainly the market remains a tough one, characterised by intense competition, we are generally optimistic for the next months to come,” Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart, said yesterday.

Smart’s subscriber base has reportedly increased to 5.9 million, according to Wednesday’s filing – more than double the local telecom’s subscriber base at the end of 2012.

“To support the growth, to support the continuous inflow of new subscribers and the exponential data traffic demand increase … more than $50 million will be invested into the network and services during 2014, with special focus on building out the data network capacity and reach,” Hundt added.

Of all Axiata’s subsidiary firms, which include Celcom in Malaysia, Dialog in Sri Lanka, XL in Indonesia and Robi in Bangladesh, Smart recorded the largest year-on-year increases in revenue and profits after tax.

Axiata Group, meanwhile, recorded a more modest revenue increase of 2 per cent at the end of the first six months of the year, with exchange-rate fluctuations and new ventures in Indonesia dampening the firm’s overall interim results.

The publicly listed Axiata purchased Smart in February last year for $156 million. As a result, Smart is the only mobile and telecommunications operator in Cambodia whose financial results are made public.

Smart’s interim financial position comes amid heightened tension in the sector over the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications’ draft telecommunications law, which, if approved, would apply similarly strict financial reporting standards on even privately held telecom firms.

But Sok Puthyvuth, chairman of the newly established Information Communication Technologies Federation, said despite the industry’s reservations towards the law and its reporting demands, financial transparency is needed in the telecom sector.

“Definitely there is a need. This is just one of the reasons for the new telecom law,” he told the Post, adding that the law was still in draft stage and not yet up for National Assembly approval.

“But there are reservations from our members on a few points in the law. But we hope to sort it out with the ministry soon.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment