Fri, 09 May 2003

Maxis sees higher growth

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysia's top cellular operator Maxis Communications said on Thursday it expects its subscriber base to expand faster than industry growth after its merger with Time dotCom.

Maxis completed the purchase of Time dotCom's cellular arm, TimeCel, on Wednesday, paying 1.33 billion ringgit (US$348.68 million) in cash and undertaking to settle up to 150 million in shareholder's advance.

"As a guideline, the industry grew about 40 percent last year. It is expected to grow in the high teens or low 20s this year and expected to grow at the low teens for the next two years," said Maxis chief executive Jamaludin Ibrahim.

"We expect to grow faster or in line with industry growth."

Maxis aims to provide more mobile data and enhanced voice services to boost its revenue as the cellular industry matures and could "taper off to single-digit growth by 2005," he added.

The merger is aimed at defending Maxis' top position in the mobile industry in light of the threat posed by a merger between second biggest operator Celcom and state-owned Telekom Malaysia's cellular arm, TMCellular. --AFP