1Q2015: A challenging start for 2015

May 04 2015

1st Quarter 2015 of Grameenphone Ltd. at a glance

  • Adverse effect of political turmoil and intense competition
  • BDT 25.2 billion revenues, 1% YoY growth
  • 0.5 million new subscription taking total base to 52 million
  • Net profit after taxes BDT 5.4 billion with 21.3% margin and BDT 3.96 EPS
  • BDT 3.7 billion investment for network coverage and quality enhancement

Grameenphone Ltd. reported revenue of BDT 25.2 billion for the first quarter of 2015, up marginally by 1% from the same period last year. In comparison with last quarter of 2014, GP experienced de-growth of 2.9%. Service revenue grew by 0.8% (YoY) along with 5.2% (YoY) growth in customer equipment and other revenues. Growth in service revenue was mainly driven by Data and VAS. Data revenue grew by 67.9% along with 37.2% growth of VAS.

During the quarter, GP acquired 0.5 million new subscriptions, taking the year-end subscription base to 52 million. This constitutes 6.8% subscription growth (YoY) with SIM market share of 42.0%. Data subscriber no stood at 11.08 Mn with encouraging volume growth.

“We’ve had a rough start to the year due to political turmoil and intense competition. However, we stood strong and committed to our ambition against this headwind and we have seen signs of improvement in the later part of the period”, said Rajeev Sethi, CEO of Grameenphone Ltd. He added, “We are optimistic regarding our ongoing initiatives under usability experience and network superiority in revitalizing the business performance.”

However, despite the challenging first quarter, Grameenphone has pressed on with its ‘Internet for All’ ambition through simplification of its internet portfolio. Moreover the company introduced its first time Sustainability Report highlighting economic, environmental, social, and governance performance to ensure greater transparency and accountability in its operations.

Net profit after taxes for the quarter was BDT 5.4 billion with 21.3% margin compared to BDT 5.2 billion with 20.7% margin of the corresponding period of 2014. Efficiency in operating expenditure management resulted in higher growth in EBITDA (before other items) of 2% compared to revenue. EBITDA margin also saw an improvement to 54.2%. Earnings per share (EPS) for the period stood at BDT 3.96 compared to BDT 3.82 of 1st quarter of 2014.

“With our prudent granular level efficiency initiatives we have managed to extract profitable growth during the quarter. Our operating cash flow position also stands at a healthy level despite higher amount of capital expenditure”, said Dilip Pal, CFO of Grameenphone Ltd.

GP invested BDT 3.7 billion during the quarter for further rollout of 3G sites, 2G coverage, capacity enhancement for catering higher volume of data and voice as well as flexibility of IT infrastructure for better product and service offerings. Meanwhile, GP, the largest contributor to exchequer paid BDT 12.1 billion, comprising 48% of total revenue to the national exchequer during the period in the form of taxes, VAT, duties and license fees.

Grameenphone conducted its 18th Annual General Meeting on 21 April 2015 maintaining a benchmark of compliance with all regulations. The shareholders approved the financial statements and 160% cash dividend (including 95% interim cash dividend) for the year 2014 among other agenda. It is worth to mention that we managed to transfer the divided electronically to more than 90% of our shareholders within the following day of AGM.