Grameenphone's net profit rose 13.67 percent to Tk 516 crore year-on-year during January-March, as the return of political normalcy restored vibrancy in economic activities.
“GP managed performance revival during the quarter, after the depressed fourth quarter of 2013, aided by resumption of economic activities and maintenance of solid traction in the market,” said Vivek Sood, chief executive of GP.
The first-quarter turnaround came after the operator's net profit fell 16 percent in 2013 due to higher corporate taxes along with 3G spectrum and 2G renewal fees, while political unrest came as a fresh blow.
Net profit fell to Tk 1,470 crore in 2013 from Tk 1,750 crore in the previous year.
GP's revenues rose 6.1 percent to Tk 2,493 crore during January-March, compared to the same period of 2013.
The growth was mainly driven by increased voice outgoing from acquisition, data revenue with momentum from 3G, SMS and campaign driven content services.
Growth in both local and international interconnection minutes, and wholesale and financial services also contributed to this top line.
“We expect to maintain this momentum and drive business further. We lived up to our commitment and managed to bring all the 64 district headquarters under 3G coverage,” Sood said at a press conference at the Westin hotel in Dhaka.
The quarter saw good development in data driven by efforts to enable and stimulate use for it, he said. “Our focus remains in realising our vision of empowering societies through internet for all.”
Mainur Md Rahman Bhuiyan, acting chief financial officer, said the illegal use of voice over internet protocol has come down, which was reflected in the profit margin.
He also said the average revenue per user is now Tk 166, slightly higher than that in the previous quarter.
During the quarter, GP acquired 15.7 lakh new users, taking its subscriber base to 4.9 crore at the end of the quarter with 42.2 percent subscription market share.
GP invested Tk 280 crore during the quarter for 3G rollout, 2G capacity increase and efficiency enhancement. With this, the operator's cumulative investment since inception now stands at Tk 24,600 crore.
As the net profit increased, its earnings per share rose to Tk 3.82 in the first quarter, which was Tk 3.36 at the end of the first quarter last year.
The company paid Tk 1,070 crore to the national exchequer during the quarter in the form of taxes, value added tax and duties.
Share price of the listed company rose 0.78 percent to Tk 270.3 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday.