Cambodia’s appetite for mobile data and internet plans is translating into significant profits for telecom firm Smart, according to the latest stock exchange filling from Malaysian parent company, Axiata.
Smart reported after-tax profits totalling 77 million ringgit ($22.7 million) for the first nine months of the year, up 126 per cent from 34 million ringgit ($10 million) during the same period in 2013, according to Axiata’s third-quarter financial statements released November 24.
“Data revenue has shown strong growth in all markets driven by increasing smartphone penetration and data usage,” Axiata’s third-quarter financial presentation states.
Smart’s gains in 2014 partly offset Axiata’s losses in its Celcom business in Malaysia and in its XL subsidiary in Indonesia, which collectively posted after-tax losses of 589 million ringgit.
“Smart Axiata kept its growth momentum, especially driven by further growth of the data traffic and revenues,” Smart CEO, Thomas Hundt said. “We are cautiously optimistic to further enlarge our subscriber base and therewith revenue in the next quarters to come.”
The results come weeks after Smart launched the Apple iPhone 6 onto the Cambodian market at a retail price of $728 per unit with a one-year 4G LTE, 1GB monthly data plan.
Karl Remoy, managing director of IndoChina Research said demand for smartphones was rising. “In the provinces, Nokia phones are the widest used. But in the cities, the market is really asking for smartphones. Samsung holds market share, and iPhone is also at the higher end,” Remoy said.