GP’s revenue up 7.8pc

Bangladesh’s biggest mobile phone operator Grameenphone (GP) Tuesday reported a 7.8 percent increase in revenues for the first half of 2014 compared with that in the same period last year.

The company, which is listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Bangladesh, said that the revenue was 51.1 billion taka (1 U.S. dollar equals to 78 taka) for January-June period of 2014.

gpService revenue grew by 7.5 percent year on year along with 14. 3 percent year on year growth in device and other revenues, said the company in a statement, Xinhua reports.

It said the growth is accredited by increased voice outgoing from acquisition, data revenue from 3G as well as 2G, SMS and content services.

Growth in interconnection revenue with contribution from both local and international minutes, higher device sales (28 percent) for enabling the data era, wholesale and financial services also contributed.

During the quarter, according to the statement, GP acquired 0.6 million net subscriber addition, taking the year-end subscription base to 49.23 million with over 42 percent subscription market share.

With 12 percent growth in subscriber against industry growth of about 11.3 percent, it said GP managed to surpass industry retaining the leadership position.

Quarterly revenue of 26.2 billion taka registered a 9.5 percent year on year and a 5.1 percent quarter on quarter growth, it added.

During the quarter, GP was active in offering various innovative value-for-money products and services to enrich its customer experience. GP experienced growth in data usage driven by encouraging growth in 3G and 2G subscriber base. GP is now well poised to meet its ambition of Internet for ALL, while 16% of subscribers used internet in the last one month.

“I am delighted to inform our honorable shareholders that GP managed another growth quarter as indicated last time, giving the first half a solid base to finish 2014 with a healthy performance, “ said Vivek Sood, CEO of Grameenphone Ltd.

“Stable political environment, improving economic activities and GP’s strong traction in the market contributed to this elevated performance. Its strategic ambition of internet for ALL and enabling position on MFS has been well executed. However, industry is challenged by high VOIP traffic contributed by some operator SIMs.”

He added, “I am also happy to announce that GP Board of Directors declared interim dividend at the rate of 95% of paid up capital. This reinforces GP’s commitment towards creating value for shareholders.”

According to the statement, net profit after taxes for the first half of 2014 was 10.6 billion with 20.7 percent margin compared to 5.1 billion taka with 10.8 percent margin of the corresponding period of 2013.

Revenue growth and flat operating expenditure derived from efficiency initiatives aided in improving margins, it said and added adverse effect of higher corporate taxes had a somewhat negative effect on the bottom line.

Earnings per share (EPS) for the period stood at 7.85 taka compared to 3.78 taka of corresponding period of 2013, it said.

GP invested 6.5 billion taka during the first half for 3G rollout in all 64 district headquarters, 2G coverage as well as capacity increase and other efficiency enhancement initiatives, the company said.

With this, it said GP’s cumulative investment since inception now stands at 250 billion taka.

GP was set up in March of 1997 by 2006 Nobel peace prize winner Bangladeshi Muhammad Yunus.