The net profit of largest mobile phone operator of the country plunged by Tk 116.40 crore in the July-September period compared to the same period of last year as regulatory actions weighed on its expected growth.
According to GP’s financial statement, the net profit of the company down by 13.03 percent to Tk 726.88 crore in the third quarter of 2019 which was Tk 843.28 crore in third quarter of last year. The de-growth came due to the adverse impact of an undisclosed amount of one-off payment made to the government by the top carrier.
However, Grameenphone’s net profit rose by 2.04 percent year-on-year to Tk 2,532 crore in the first nine months of the year aided by a surge in revenue growth both in data and voice segments.
Performance in the third quarter came amid the challenging regulatory environment which was raised due to the yet-to-be decided audit dispute between BTRC and Grameen Phone. At a time, BTRC issued ‘No Objection Certificates (NOCs)’ as a step to recover the audit claim from the operator.
The operator reported total revenues of BDT 10,749 crore for the first nine months of 2019 which is 9.5 percent higher from the same period of last year. While voice revenue continues to grow, there is a healthy growth in data revenue, along with growth in usage. Data revenue surged more than 50 percent to Tk 1,763 crore in the third quarter.
The operator’s subscriber base also grew by 6 percent to 75.7 million during the same period. The company acquired 0.4 million new subscribers during the third quarter, registering 6 percent growth from the end of 2018. The company also acquired 0.9 million internet subscribers while 53.7 percent of total subscribers of Grameenphone Ltd. are using internet services.
Earnings per share were Tk 18.75 for January to September period, compared to Tk 18.38 year-on-year. It was Tk 5.38 in the third quarter against Tk 6.25 in the same period last year, according to data from the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has continued demanding Tk 12,479 crore from GP as per findings of the audit into the operator’s book in 2016 that covered the period from its inception to December 2014.
GP has called the audit disputed and has not paid anything leading the regulator to suspend issuing the NOCs on July 22. The NOCs are needed to roll out new package or service or import network equipment.
In the third quarter, the mobile phone operator invested Tk 218 crore, down 53 percent year-on-year. The operator claimed that they have invested less than what we had planned for due to the uncertainty over NOC suspension.
GP’s network covered 99.5 percent of the population and 69 percent of the population are under its 4G network.