Robi Axiata Limited, a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Axiata Group, made Tk 214.7 crore in net profit in 2018 after incurring substantial losses since its merger with Airtel in 2016.
The operator, however, failed to boost its revenue due mainly to a fall in average revenue per customer of the mobile network operator in the year of 2018.
The mobile phone operator in a statement on Friday mentioned sales of its shares in Edotco Bangladesh, a telecommunications infrastructure services company, as reason for Robi’s profit in 2018.
The second largest mobile phone operator sold its 20 per cent shares in Edotco Bangladesh to Edotco Group as per the regulatory requirement.
Under the tower sharing licencing guidelines, mobile network operators’ shareholding in any tower sharing company is identified as a disqualification of the entity to get the licence for the business.
Robi, however, in its statement did not mention the actual value of transaction of the shares that took place in September last year.
Before making profit in 2018, the operator incurred a loss of Tk 389.2 crore in 2016 and Tk 284.3 crore in 2017.
Earlier in 2014 and 2015, Robi made Tk 439.7 crore and Tk 400.4 crore in profit respectively.
Robi managing director and chief executive officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said, ‘It is very clear that our aggressive investment in 4.5G service is paying dividends in terms of robust growth of data revenue.’
‘However, excessive price competition in data service is not helping to compensate for the declining revenue from our voice service due to increased use of various over-the-top mobile applications,’ he said.
‘In this backdrop, we urge upon the government to immediately set a floor price for data service to ensure sustainability of the industry,’ the Robi CEO said.
The Robi CEO mentioned that the operator’s growth in enterprise business and the new digital service business segment were particularly encouraging.
‘Having been the only operator to have successfully trialled VoLTE and 5G services, Robi is well on its way to become the next-generation digital champion,’ said Mahtab.
As per the statement, Robi’s subscriber base stood at 4.69 crore from 4.29 crore a year ago.
Despite the increase in number of subscribers by 40 lakh, revenue of Robi dropped by Tk 36.5 crore to Tk 6,798.2 crore in 2018 from Tk 6,834.7 crore a year ago.
Of the subscribers of the entity, 60.4 per cent or 2.83 crore subscribers were using data services.
Per subscriber data consumption of Robi’s in a month increased to 1,074 Megabyte in 2018 from 584 MB a year ago.
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