Dialog Returns to Profitability in Q3 2022
November 15th, 2022 Colombo
- Group Revenue remained resilient to grow 21% YTD reaching LKR 127.2Bn
- Total Taxes Paid to GoSL Rs26.0Bn for nine months ending 30th September 2022 which included Rs11.3Bn
- in Direct and Rs14.7Bn in Indirect Taxes; The total taxes paid increased 47% YTD and 19% QoQ
- Group Net Profit After Tax reached Rs3.2Bn in Q3 2022 to record a growth of 126% QoQ
- Capex Investments of Rs40.1Bn in first nine months of 2022
Dialog Axiata PLC announced, Tuesday 15th November 2022, its consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30th September 2022. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) and of the Dialog Axiata Group (the “Group”).
Sri Lanka which underwent socio-economic upheaval in 1H 2022 reverted to relative stability towards end of Q3 2022 with Sri Lankan Rupee (“LKR”) depreciating a mere 0.9% against the United States Dollar (“USD”). However Inflation continued to rise during the quarter to reach 69.8% (from 54.6% recorded by end Q2 2022 and 18.7% from end Q1 2022) whilst interest rates remained elevated with 12-month T-Bill rate increasing to 28.5% (from 21.1% recorded in Q2 2022 and 12.2% recorded by end Q1 2022).
The Group delivered a strong performance during the quarter with Group Revenue, underpinned by resilient core revenue, reporting growth across all business segments, viz. Mobile, Fixed Line, Digital Pay Television, International and Tele-infrastructure. The Quarter-on-Quarter (“QoQ”) revenue recorded a growth of 5% to reach Rs45.6Bn. The Group Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (“EBITDA”) reached Rs14.0Bn for Q3 2022, up 10% QoQ due to diligent cost management. Driven by EBITDA performance Group Net Profit After Tax (“NPAT”) reached Rs3.2Bn to record a growth of 126% QoQ.
On a YTD basis consolidated Group Revenue was recorded at Rs127.2Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2022 to report a growth of 21% Year-to-Date (“YTD”) driven by resilient core revenue performance. Despite the challenging operating environment and escalation of operating costs due to inflation, EBITDA decline was limited to Rs41.5Bn down 5% YTD, mainly resulting from escalations in network and operating costs. Downstream of EBITDA performance Group NPAT recorded a loss of Rs25.1Bn The NPAT loss was predominantly driven by the market-to-market translational losses from USD denominated borrowings. Normalised for the forex losses NPAT was recorded at Rs7.8Bn for the first nine months of 2022.
Considering the continued cost escalations resulting from the depreciation of LKR the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (“TRCSL”) approved a tariff increase effective from 5th September 2022. Accordingly, all service providers increased Mobile, Fixed Telephone, Broadband Plans and Value Added Services by 20% while the tariffs on all Pay Television Services were increased by 25%.
Dialog Group continued to be a significant contributor to state revenues, remitting a total of Rs26.0Bn to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) during the first nine months of 2022. Total remittances included Direct Taxes and Levies amounting to Rs11.3Bn and Rs14.7Bn in Consumption Taxes collected on behalf of the GoSL. The total taxes paid increased 47% YTD and 19% QoQ.
The Groups’ investments into the network gained momentum during the quarter, with a view to meet growing demand from both retail and corporate sectors, whilst also ensuring seamless customer experience and leadership in Sri Lankas’ Broadband sector. Accordingly, the YTD capital expenditure reached Rs40.1Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2022.
During the quarter the Group announced the entering into of two supplementary agreements with the BOI for the investment of an additional sum of USD 152.4Mn (Rs56.7Bn) in Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications and ICT Infrastructure on 13th September 2022. The investment comprises of USD 112.8Mn from Dialog Axiata PLC and USD 39.6Mn from its subsidiary Dialog Broadband Networks (Private) Limited.
At an entity level, Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) continued to contribute a major share of Group Revenue (59%) and Group EBITDA (71%). Company revenue, driven by resilient core revenue performance, was recorded at Rs74.9Bn for first nine months of 2022 up 11% YTD and Rs25.8Bn for Q3 2022 up 3% QoQ, resulting from growth in Data segment. Profitability continued to be impacted due to higher network spend and rise in operating expenses as alluded to earlier. Accordingly, Company EBITDA was recorded at Rs29.5Bn for nine months ending 30th September 2022, down 4% YTD albeit increasing 16% QoQ to record at Rs10.4Bn for Q3 2022 owing to diligent cost management during the quarter.
Downstream of EBITDA performance, Company NPAT recorded a loss of Rs22.1Bn for first nine months of 2022 and a profit of Rs3.8Bn for Q3 2022 up 135% QoQ. Normalised for forex losses NPAT was recorded at Rs6.7Bn for nine months ending 30th September 2022.
Dialog Television (“DTV”), continued to consolidate its leadership position in the Digital Pay Television space albeit being battered by the impact from LKR depreciation. DTV revenue continued the growth momentum to record at Rs8.6Bn for nine months ended 30th September 2022, up 13% YTD while on a QoQ basis revenue was up 9% to reach Rs3.0Bn for Q3 2022. DTV EBITDA declined 49% to reach Rs1.2Bn for the first nine months of 2022, due to escalation in cost base stemming from unfavorable forex movement. Consequently, DTV Net Loss increased to Rs4.0Bn for the nine months ended 30th September 2022.
Dialog Broadband Networks (“DBN”) featuring the Group’s Fixed Telecommunications, Broadband and International Businesses recorded strong revenue growth of 44% YTD to reach Rs46.6Bn for nine months ending 30th September 2022 and was up 10% QoQ to record at Rs17.8Bn for Q3 2022, due to growth in wholesale revenue coupled with Fixed Broadband revenue. Following the revenue performance, DBN EBITDA increased to reach Rs11.4Bn while Net Profit reached Rs2.4Bn for the nine months ending 30th September 2022.
As the fuel crisis gripped the country and brought the economy to a standstill, Dialog Group took on the responsibility to help the nation overcome this challenge through the power of technology. Joining hand with ICTA, MillenniumIT ESP and synergizing with Ministry of Power and Energy, the National Fuel Pass system was launched within a short span of 3 weeks delivering a sustainable fuel management system.
Energy Consumption: The Board and Management recently declared their commitment to achieving Net Zero Co2 emissions by 2050 and as a first step, aims to achieve net neutrality by 2030. To achieve this aspiration, Dialog has invested heavily on renewable energy sourcing. In 2022, 169 tower sites have been identified for solar installation, which expect to generate 74,000 kWh per month. The 2nd Phase in Q1 2023 aims to cover an additional 830 sites with solar power, generating 504,000 kWh per month. As a 3rd phase the tower mounting solar installation with 300 sites with the capacity to generate 115,500 kWh per month is in the pipeline. In Q3 2022, Dialog has reduced the energy consumption by 0.9% QoQ by reducing the usage of access networks and facilities.
Gender Diversity: Dialog remains committed to promoting equal opportunity within the workplace, with recruitment, rewards and career progression taking place based on skills, knowledge, competencies, and the nature of work involved. Accordingly, the Company has implemented the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Framework, which aims to achieve 30% female presence by end of 2023. In Q3 2022, Dialog has achieved +2pp overall female presence QoQ, where a 11pp increase QoQ was achieved relating to the Board of Directors.
Karuna.lk: Dialog Group embarked on yet another initiative in launching Sri Lanka’s first crowdfunding platform, Karuna.lk, with verified and trusted non-profits, organisations and causes. Against the backdrop of the economic crisis in the country, this initiative aims to empower and enrich Sri Lankan lives through social stewardship backed by a trusted and secure fundraising engine operating at the highest level of governance.
Network Availability: Mobile & Fixed 4G network availability increased by 0.4pp during the quarter. There has been zero downtime for the core sites during the reporting period.
More details are available at the following links:
Dialog Axiata PLC direct weblink for results: https://www.dialog.lk/quarterly-reports
CSE direct weblink for results: https://www.cse.lk/home/company-info/DIAL.N0000/financial
Dialog sustainability: https://www.dialog.lk/sustainability