Bangladesh’s Grameenphone reported a sharp increase in profit last year as it boosted its connections base by almost 10 per cent and strengthened its position as the market leader.
The operator, owned by Norway’s Telenor, added 4.4 million connections in 2014, expanding its user base to 51.5 million. Its market share rose 1.4 percentage points to 42.8 per cent. Banglalink is second with a 25.5 per cent share, according to GSMA Intelligence.
The company’s net profit rose 35 per cent to BDT19.9 billion ($250.6 million), while overall revenue increased 6.3 per cent to BDT102.7 billion.
Data and value-added services drove a 5.9 per cent increase in service revenue, while customer equipment sales rose 14 per cent. The company noted that service revenue growth faced some headwind from lower international call termination rates.
CFO Dilip Pal said in an earnings call that the erosion in ARPU – which dropped 2.4 per cent to BDT161 – was driven by lower voice revenue.
Its capex expanded 20 per cent to BDT15.2 billion during the year to fast-track its 3G rollout, which now covers all 64 districts.
EBITDA grew by 11.2 per cent, while its EBITDA margin strengthened 2.3 points to 53 per cent.
The company noted that, as the largest contributor to the exchequer, it paid BDT58.9 billion in VAT, duties and license fees to the government in 2014.