Maxis Bhd, Malaysia's largest mobile phone service provider, said growth in voice and data subscription drove pretax profit up by 4 percent, in its first quarterly results since listing this month.
Rising domestic demand for wireless broadband had turned around the company's performance since the second quarter, Maxis said on Monday, with third-quarter pretax profit rising to 615 million ringgit ($181.8 million) against 590.4 million in the second quarter.
Maxis, which debuted on the stock exchange as southeast Asia's biggest initial public offering (IPO), is a stripped down version of the company reclusive Malaysian billionaire Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan took private two years ago.
Maxis, which also reported a dividend of 6 Malaysian sen per share, now houses the Malaysian business, leaving the more profitable Indian and Indonesian operations with unlisted parent Maxis Communications Berhad that Krishnan controls.
Maxis is valued at 40.3 billion ringgit, making it the biggest mobile provider by market capitalisation in Malaysia, the second most developed mobile market in southeast Asia after Singapore. Maxis competes with smaller rivals like Axiata and DiGi and controls 40 percent of the local mobile phone market.
We are confident that Malaysian telecom revenues will continue to grow as we are at the inflection point of broadband growth, Maxis Chief Executive Sandip Das said in a statement.
Penetration levels and data usage will also prop revenues predominantly with a growing young population.
Unlike Axiata, which saw its profit double in the third quarter due solid revenue growth from its overseas units, Maxis wants to focus more on wireless broadband demand to boost future earnings.
It has spent 648 million ringgit so far this year to boost its wireless broadband networks and attract more customers.
By the end of this year, we are well on course towards accomplishing our plans to have a full HSPA 3G network in preparations for our ambitions in broadband, Das said, referring to the wireless technology for broadband.
(Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)