Grameenphone, the largest mobile operator in Bangladesh, turned in a strong financial performance in the third quarter with a sharp increase in profit and brisk revenue growth helped by a tax cut on data.
Net profit rose 27.6 per cent year-on-year to BDT8.89 billion ($105.8 million), revenue increased 3.4 per cent to BDT34.3 billion and service turnover grew 6 per cent to BDT33.9 billion.
CEO Michael Patrick Foley said the third quarter saw the implementation of a number of government directives, most notably a VAT reduction on data and a uniform minimum voice call rate. In July the National Board of Revenue cut the VAT on internet service to 5 per cent from 15 per cent.
He said a little over half of its subscribers use internet services, noting “our revised voice portfolio and new value propositions in data offers are creating positive traction in the market”.
The operator ended the quarter with 71.4 million mobile subscribers, up 11.8 per cent year-on-year, with 4G users reaching 3.8 million.
Data revenue grew 16.8 per cent, driven by a 21.3 per cent increase in data users to 36.3 million at end-September. Mobile ARPU fell 5.3 per cent year-on-year to BDT161.
Capex in Q3 jumped 125 per cent from the comparable 2017 period to BDT4.63 billion. As a percentage of revenue, capex rose to 13.5 per cent from 12 per cent. The operator added 2,700 4G sites to take the total to 4,745.
In the nine months to end-September, Grameenphone invested BDT30.07 billion in 4G licence and spectrum acquisition, tech-neutrality conversion fees, and network coverage and capacity enhancement.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back