GP profit drops for 2 quarters

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Oct 22,2019


Grameenphone chief executive officer Michael Patrick Foley and CFO Jens Becker are seen when they unveiled financial report of the company for third quarter in Dhaka on Monday. — New Age photo

The net profit of country’s leading telecom operator Grameenphone dropped for the second consecutive quarter in the July-September period in the current year as the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission imposed a number of sanctions on the mobile operator with a view to recovering Tk 12,579.95 crore in audit claim from it.

GP, also a listed company at the country’s stock exchanges, posted a 13.8-per cent fall in the net profit year-on-year in July-September, 2019 after the 8.12-per cent fall in the net profit in April-June this year.

In a statement, GP chief executive officer Michael Patrick Foley said, ‘We continued to deliver a solid business performance in the third quarter despite a very challenging regulatory environment.’

‘We have been affected by the halt on NOCs from our regulator,’ he said.

The financial statement of GP showed that the operator’s net profit after tax dropped to Tk 726.88 crore in July-September this year against Tk 843.28 crore in the same period last year.

The operator’s net profit dropped to Tk 955.28 crore in April-June quarter this year against Tk 1,039.75 crore in the same quarter last year.

The mobile phone operator has been facing regulatory sanctions since the issuance of audit claim worth Tk 12,579.95 crore in April this year by the BTRC.

The BTRC in July this year reduced bandwidth capacity of GP for non-payment of the claim.

Although the telecom regulator restored the bandwidth capacity within a couple of weeks, the commission slapped fresh sanctions on the telecom operator.

On July 22, the commission halted no-objection certificate (NOC) issuance to GP with a view to realising the audit claim.

Afterwards, the BTRC, following approval from the government, on August 5 this year issued a show-cause notice to GP, asking the operator to explain why its licence would not be cancelled for non-payment of the government’s claim and finally initiated a move to appoint administrator to GP as it found the explanation provided by the operator dissatisfactory.

Even though the operator witnessed a profit fall in two consecutive quarters in the year 2019, GP’s net profit increased by 2.03 per cent or Tk 50.56 crore to Tk 2,531.80 crore in January-September this year against Tk 2,481.24 crore in the same period last year.

Speaking about the operator’s performance, Foley said that the operator had witnessed a healthy growth in data revenue along with growth in usage.

GP reported the total revenues of Tk 10,750 crore for nine months of 2019, a 9.5-per cent growth from that in the same period of last year.

The operator’s subscriber base grew by 6 per cent to 7.57 crore in the same period and 53.7 per cent of them were using internet services.

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