Dialog Consolidates Performance with Strong 1st Quarter results

12th May 2016         Colombo


Dialog Axiata PLC announced, Thursday 12th May 2016, its consolidated financial results for the three months ended 31st March 2016. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC (the "Company") and of the Dialog Axiata Group (the "Group") post-consolidation with subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd ("DBN"), Dialog Television (Pvt) Ltd ("DTV") and Digital Holdings Lanka (Pvt) Ltd ("DHL").

The Group continued its strong growth momentum across Mobile, Digital Pay Television, Tele-infrastructure and Fixed Line businesses to record a consolidated revenue of Rs21.2Bn for the 1st Quarter, demonstrating a significant growth of 6% Quarter on Quarter ("QoQ") and 22% Year on Year ("YoY").

Group EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) for Q1 2016 increased by 25% QoQ and 17% YoY to reach Rs7.0Bn on the back of strong revenue growth. The Group EBITDA margin for Q1 2016 was accordingly recorded at 33.2%. Underpinned by the positive EBITDA growth trajectory, Group NPAT (Net Profit After Tax) for the quarter grew by 35% YoY to be recorded at Rs2.7Bn.

The Group remitted a total of Rs6.8Bn to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) during Q1 2016. Total remittances included direct taxes, fees and levies as well as consumption taxes and levies collected on behalf of the GoSL. Direct taxes, fees and levies contributed by the Group totalled to Rs2.6Bn inclusive of income tax. The Group additionally collected consumption taxes and levies, totalling to Rs4.2Bn on behalf of the GoSL for Q1 2016, comprising in the main of Telecom Levy collections amounting to Rs3.3Bn.

Consolidating its leadership position as a regional and global leader in innovation, Dialog claimed top honours once again at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona Spain in March 2016, winning the award for the Best Mobile Network Solution for Serving Customers. Dialog's award winning innovation came in the form of an advanced Mobile Network technology innovation featuring unique orchestration of Mobile Network Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) manifesting in the Dialog Self-Care Application Framework and Dialog Self Care App. Further endorsing Dialog's leadership in Sri Lanka's fiercely competitive ICT sector, Sri Lankan consumers voted Dialog as the Telecom Service Provider of the Year for the fifth year in succession at the recently held SLIM-Nielsen People's Awards organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and the Nielsen Company. Consumers also voted Dialog as the Internet Service Provider of the Year for the fourth year in succession.

At an entity level, Dialog Axiata PLC ("the Company") featuring the Mobile, International and Tele-Infrastructure segments of the Group portfolio continued to contribute a major share of Group Revenue (83%) and Group EBITDA (90%). On the back of its Mobile customer base of over 10.6Mn subscribers, Company revenue for Q1 2016 grew by 6% QoQ and 22% YoY to be recorded at Rs18.0Bn.

Underpinned by strong revenue performance, Company EBITDA recorded a growth of 31% QoQ and 24% YoY to reach Rs6.3Bn for Q1 2016, translating to an EBITDA margin of 35.0%. Company NPAT for Q1 2016 increased by 56% YoY to reach Rs3.0Bn on the backdrop of strong EBITDA growth.

Dialog Television (DTV), the Digital Pay Television business of the Group continued its positive growth momentum, recording a revenue growth of 8% YoY to reach Rs1.6Bn for Q1 2016. DTV's Pay TV customer base was recorded at 701,000 subscriptions as at the end of March 2016. DTV engaged in an aggressive service and product enhancement programme during 2H 2015 featuring the expansion of channel genres and the launch of new prepaid product offerings. Cost expansion arising from aggressive customer acquisition alongside service and product expansion activities, resulted in a medium term contraction in DTV's EBITDA from Rs314Mn in Q1 2015 to Rs31Mn in Q1 2016. The contraction of DTV EBITDA translated to an equivalent negative impact on NPAT leading to a Net Loss of Rs182Mn for Q1 2016 compared to a Net Profit of Rs139Mn posted in Q1 2015.

Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN) featuring the Group's Fixed Telecommunications and Broadband Business recorded revenue of Rs2.1Bn for Q1 2016, representing an increase of 21% YoY. Downstream of robust Revenue performance, DBN EBITDA for Q1 2016 was recorded at Rs750Mn, representing an increase of 25% YoY. DBN's Net Loss for Q1 2016 was recorded at Rs119Mn relative to the Net Loss of Rs80Mn in the corresponding period of 2015. Negative movement in NPAT was underpinned by the increase in depreciation accruing from Fixed 4G LTE related investments.

Group capital expenditure for Q1 2016 was recorded at Rs2.9Bn. Capital expenditure was directed in the main towards investments in high speed broadband infrastructure alongside the extension of the Group's Optical Fibre Network to further strengthen the Group's leadership in Sri Lanka's ICT sector. Group Operating Free Cash Flow (OFCF) was recorded at Rs2.6Bn for Q1 2016 on the back of strong EBITDA performance and calibrated capital expenditure. The Group continued to exhibit a structurally robust balance sheet with the Net Debt to EBITDA ratio being maintained at 0.78x as at end of March 2016.