ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s dominant mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata has said it managed to stem the fall in voice revenue in 2018 while data sales rose strongly.
“While local voice revenues remained stable, the emerging segments of mobile broadband, fixed and digital services contributed significantly to the overall profile,” Dialog Axiata group chief executive Supun Weerasinghe said.
Mobile broadband sales rose 32 percent in 2018 from the year before while revenue from fixed and digital services grew 29 percent, he said.
“Revenue growth combined with our continued focus on operational improvements led to group EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) growing 28 percent year-on-year to 43.5 billion rupees for the 2018 financial year,” he told shareholders in the company’s annual report.
Dialog Axiata group EBITDA margin rose slightly to 39.8 percent in 2018 from the previous year.
The annual report’s operations review said that despite the continued threat from ‘Over-the-Top’ (OTT) services, voice revenue experienced only a moderate decline of one percent in 2018 from the year before.
New customer acquisitions from aggressive regional campaigns and successful new product launches supported the sustenance of voice revenue, it said.
“Data revenue continued its strong growth momentum during the year to record a growth of 32 percent year-on-year driven by continued increase in smartphone penetration, 4G device penetration supported by rapid 4G conversion, coverage expansion and upgrades to data related infrastructure.”
Weerasinghe said that in 2018, Dialog’s mobile business continued to strengthen its market leadership, adding about a million subscribers to reach a mobile subscriber base of 13.8 million as at December 2018, up eight percent from the previous year.
(COLOMBO 27 May 2019)