Mobile operator Robi recorded 31 percent revenue growth in 2010 along with double-digit hikes in all other financial indicators, the company said yesterday.
Robi Axiata’s total revenue stood at Tk 2,603.4 crore at the end of December 2010, officials said in a press briefing in Dhaka yesterday. In the fourth quarter alone, the company recorded its highest quarterly revenue of Tk 693.7 crore.
Despite strong competition, the ascending revenue growth trend continued through all four consecutive quarters of 2010 compared to 2009. It was primarily boosted by prepaid voice, prepaid VAS (value-added service) and IDD (international direct dialling) revenue shares from IGWs (international gateway), they said.
“Strong subscriber growth of 33 percent in 2010 was paramount to the resulting revenue growth,” the company said in a statement.
The EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) was up 25 percent, compared to 2009, reflecting an incremental absolute EBITDA of Tk 166.8 crore in 2010.
Robi Axiata Ltd subsequently contributed Tk 1,047.2 crore to the national exchequer in 2010, showing an increase of 31 percent over 2009 (excluding one-off fees for additional spectrum).
On renewal of its licence, the operator said its licence tenure is going to be over in November, and the government proposed a 15-year draft renewal guideline. The post and telecoms ministry published the guideline on its website, seeking comments.
According to the draft licence renewal guideline, the unit (per MHz) spectrum acquisition fee was fixed at $4.285 crore and $2.143 crore respectively for 900MHz and 1,800MHz band costing Robi $41.2 crore.
“Robi is legitimately disappointed that the regulator, in this licensing renewal draft, has chosen to maximise immediate (up front) revenue and ignored maximising the societal value,” the company said.
“We believe such unprecedented high renewal fees, unfair taxation and unparallel revenue sharing would lead to reduction of investments, degradation of service quality, reduction in expansion of services and higher tariffs for the subscribers, and will portray the country negatively to the foreign investors,” it said.
“We propose that the government should check with international experts to review the licence framework and have a more transparent process of timelines.”
Michael Kuehner, managing director, Mahtabuddin Ahmed, chief financial officer, and Bidyut Kumar Basu, chief marketing officer, were present at the press briefing.