Grameenphone Ltd. (GP) reported BDT 4,340 crore revenues for the first half of 2011, a solid 21% increase from the first half of 2010. Total revenue for the second quarter of 2011 was BDT 2,273 crores, up by 21% from the same period of 2010. The growth in revenue was mainly in voice revenues due to subscription growth and revenues from sale of GP branded handsets.
“It is our pleasure to share with our shareholders that GP has delivered a strong business performance for the first half of the year backed by customer and revenue growth”, said Tore Johnsen, CEO, Grameenphone Ltd. He added, “GP continued to be the preferred telecom service provider of the country with its continued focus on ensuring better customer experience”.
GP has reinforced its retail channel and distribution infrastructure with more than 264,000 point of sales to reach in the deep rural areas. With 39 lakh new customers during the first six months, GP’s subscription base stands at 3 crore and 38 lakhs with 44.3% market share at the end of second quarter.
Net profit after taxes for the first half of 2011 was BDT 677 crores with 15.6% margin compared to BDT 483 crores with 13.5% margin of the first half of 2010. Higher profit for this period was mainly due to remarkable growth in revenues, partly offset by BDT 375 crores in subsidy related to SIM tax, BDT 57 crore losses on currency devaluation and higher income tax expenses. EBITDA margin for the first half of 2011 was 50.6%, which also has increased by 2.0 percentage points compared to the first half of 2010.
Earnings per share (EPS) for the first half of 2011 stood at BDT 5.01 compared to BDT 3.58 of the same period of 2010. For the second quarter of 2011, EPS was BDT 2.89 compared to BDT 1.24 for the second quarter of 2010.
In the National Budget for 2011-12, the Govt has reduced SIM tax to BDT 605.52 from BDT 800. “This reduction was long awaited and we appreciate government’s considerate decision that will help accelerating growth in telecommunication towards digitization of the country”, said Tore Johnsen.
GP invested BDT 551 crores during the first six months of 2011 for network modernization and efficiency enhancement. With this, GP’s cumulative investment since inception now stands at BDT 16,348 crores. Meanwhile, GP, the largest taxpayer of the country, contributed BDT 2,344 crores to the national exchequer during the first half of 2011, which sums up the accumulated contribution to the national exchequer to BDT 20,846 crores since its inception. On account of corporate tax, GP paid BDT 618 crores during the first half of 2011, which was BDT 150 crore higher compared to the same period of last year.
The renewal of license and spectrum of GP along with three other mobile operators is due on 11 November 2011. Tore commented “We hope that industry friendly amendments will be made in the final license renewal guideline to ensure level playing field for all the operators.” He added, “side by side, a stable and long term telecom roadmap is needed to stimulate telecommunication growth, which will encourage mobile operators to make further investments in new services and technologies in the coming days”.
The Board of Directors has declared interim dividend in cash at the rate of 140% of the paid up capital (BDT 14 per share of BDT 10 each) for the year 2011 out of the provisional net profit of the company for the half year ended at 30 June 2011 and retained earnings up to 31 December 2010. The Shareholders as of the record date of 28th July 2011 will be entitled for this dividend, which will be distributed within the timeframe stipulated by the regulators.