The net profits of country’s leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone dropped by 8.12 per cent or Tk 84.47 crore in the April-June quarter this year compared with that in the same period last year amid business challenges including imposition of significant market power conditions by the telecom regulator on the operator.
In Q1 this year, the net profits of GP, also a listed company on the stock exchanges, dropped to Tk 955.28 crore from Tk 1,039.75 crore in the same period last year, according to GP’s January-June financial statement published on Monday.
As a result, the earnings per share of GP dropped to Tk 7.07 in Q2 this year from Tk 7.7 in the Q2 last year.
The mobile phone operator in its financial highlights mentioned that the operating profits grew by 1.7 billion, driven by the uplift from both voice and data revenue, partially offset by lower contribution from interconnection.
The operator witnessed a 20.7-per cent fall in interconnection revenue in the quarter, it said.
The mobile phone operator’s net profits in January-June rose by 10.48 per cent or Tk 171.25 crore to Tk 1,804.93 crore from Tk 1,633.67 crore in the H1 last year.
In January-June this year, GP’s EPS rose to Tk 13.37 from Tk 12.1 in the same period last year.
The operator’s H1 revenue increased by 10.6 per cent or Tk 708.2 crore to Tk 7,090.05 crore from Tk 6,381.85 crore.
‘We delivered a strong business performance during the first half of 2019 amid many challenges in the business environment,’ GP chief executive officer Michael Patrick Foley said in a statement on the day.
In the April-June quarter, GP focused on improving its network resilience as well as modernising and rolling out 4G, covering 62 per cent of the population of Bangladesh, Foley said.
‘Due to changes made in the supplementary duty, we revised our product portfolio to ensure our valued customers experienced a smooth transition,’ said the GP CEO, adding, ‘We witnessed healthy growth in voice and data revenue, along with growth in usage and subscriber base.’
GP acquired 13 lakh new subscribers in the quarter, registering a 3.1 per cent growth from the end of 2018.
The company also acquired 16 lakh internet subscribers in the period and 52.8 per cent of total subscribers of Grameenphone were using internet services, the statement of GP said.
Grameenphone has been facing a number of issues including the move of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to implement significant market power regulations and Tk 12,580 crore audit claim of BTRC, resulting in 30 per cent bandwidth cut of GP.
Earlier in February, the BTRC imposed four SMP conditions on GP but withdrew those after one month.
However, the commission has already proposed 20 other SMP conditions for GP.
The conditions includes asymmetric mobile termination rate, cross subsidy, MNP lock-in period, spectrum pricing, infrastructure sharing, exclusivity, loyalty campaign, product and service approval process/automatic approval of retail tariffs of non-SMP operators, social obligation fund, voice tariff, data floor price, parallel pricing or ante approval of retail tariffs, green technology or renewable energy, merger and acquisition threshold, corporate social responsibility, number of product, quality of service, revenue sharing and market communication.
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