Mobile phone operator Robi’s profit declined more than 98 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 to Tk 1.76 crore compared with that of Tk 110 crore in the same period of the previous year.
Decline in the number of customers following SIM deactivation after biometric registration, depreciation for network modernisation and prolonged regulatory process to complete merger with Airtel impacted the profit, said officials.
Robi witnessed a loss of Tk 3.42 crore in the second quarter of 2016.
‘We experienced solid mobile revenue growth during the third quarter of 2016. However, deactivation of non-compliant (not having biometric registration) SIMs after May 31 has negatively impacted the growth momentum of the business. Nevertheless, we are continuing to invest towards expansion and modernisation of 2.5G/3.5G network across the country to provide a superior mobile services experience to our subscribers,’ said Robi chief executive officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.
Robi lost around 30 lakh active mobile subscribers in the July-September period because of the biometric registration where many people did not register their numbers and operators had to suspend those as per a government order.
Robi also invested Tk 290 crore in the third quarter for network expansion focusing mainly on the Chittagong-Comilla region which is known as the stronghold of the company.
The company sealed its merger deal with Airtel and announced joint operation last week although the merger-related announcement came in September last year.
The company already paid Tk 318 crore to the regulator last week as partial merger fees and charges.
In Q3, Robi’s revenue rose by 11.5 per cent to Tk 1,390 crore compared with that of Tk 1,340 crore in the same period of the previous year.
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