Axiata’s foreign forays bear fruit


SINGAPORE: Malaysian telecom company Axiata Group’s foray into foreign countries is bearing fruit.

Recent sales in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and other places are up by double digits from the year-earlier period, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review.

It is now broadening its footprint in developing Asia in a bid to cash in on anticipated high growth.

Axiata announced in mid-July that it had created regional divisions covering Southeast Asia and South Asia and named CEOs to head both, according to the report.

Axiata’s customer base now comes to 274 million people, about seven times the figure at the end of 2007, said the Nikkei Asian Review report.

That puts the company second in Southeast Asia behind Singapore Telecommunications.

The report quoted Axiata Group Chief Executive Officer Jamaludin Ibrahim as saying that a new era of growth had arrived.

Axiata started off in 1992 as a subsidiary of the government-affiliated Telekom Malaysia. It was spun off in 2008 and floated in the Malaysian stock market.

Malaysia’s population of 30 million makes it a relatively small country, with a cellphone market that is nearing saturation, said the report.

Axiata’s domestic sales sank 5 per cent in the fiscal year ended December 2015 and Axiata reoriented its growth strategy towards foreign markets such as Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal, where cellphones are starting to penetrate.