Mobile operator Robi incurred a loss of about Tk 390 crore in 2016 amid its merger with another operator Airtel.
According to the data released by Axiata Group, the parent company of Robi which is now the second largest operator in Bangladesh after having merged with Airtel, suffered a loss of 205.6 million Malaysian ringit in 2016.
Robi made a profit of around Tk 400 crore in 2015 and Tk 439 crore in 2014.
Axiata said that Robi’s loss in 2016 was due to the payment of one-off fees of merger with Airtel, provision for site termination cost and SIM tax subsidy for bio-metric re-registration and higher material and overhead cost.
The company’s revenue, however, grew to Tk 6,270 crore in 2016 from Tk 5,270 crore in 2015.
‘Robi’s operating profit (EBITDA) margin was 27.20 per cent in financial year 2016,’ said Robi in a statement on Thursday.
Margin was 9.2 percentage point lower than the previous year as a result of very marginal revenue growth, higher network operating expenses from continued network investments, one-off merger fees and charges, it said.
‘Due to continuous investment in nationwide network modernisation Robi is behind the expected profitability,’ it said.
In the statement, Robi managing director and chief executive officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said, ‘We have successfully completed the final phase of merger with Airtel in Q4 2016.’
‘The merger will ensure enhanced value for consumers and benefit the entire industry,’ he said.
‘We are now creating the number one network which will deliver the widest mobile network coverage and superior mobile services experience to our subscribers,’ Mahtab said.
Robi’s subscriber base stands at 3.38 crore (after merger), representing 26.90 per cent of industry
subscriber market share and claims as second largest operator in the country, Robi said in the statement.
During the period, FY16 total revenue grew by 0.5 per cent compared to the last year, data revenue had registered encouraging growth of 38.90 per cent, it mentioned.
‘Data revenue growth was propelled by significant investments in network coupled with innovative affordable data offerings to drive 3.5G and 2.5G data usage,’ Robi said.
In 2016, Robi deposited Tk 21.1 billion to government exchequer which was 40.1 per cent of total revenue, it said.