Telekom Malaysia’s quarterly profit falls

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22, 2008 (AFP) – Telekom Malaysia said Thursday its net profits in the first quarter fell 12.8 percent from a year ago to 519.7 million ringgit (162.4 million dollars) on higher operating and financing costs. Malaysia’s largest telecommunications firm said sales for the three months to March rose 10.6 percent to 4.6 billion ringgit due to increased revenue from its cellular, Internet and multimedia services.

After the first quarter earnings period, Telekom completed a demerger exercise on April 25, spinning off its overseas and domestic cellular phone business into a new listed company, TM International.

On its prospects for the full year, the demerged Telekom said its fixed-line data and broadband services will continue to enjoy healthy growth but revenue from its voice segment will likely decline.

Overall, the company said it expects “favourable” results for the year to December despite costs remaining challenging.

TM International, whose foreign units include PT Excelcomindo Pratama in Indonesia, TM International in Bangladesh and Spice Communications in India, expects to increase revenue from its cellular operations for the full year.