POST TIME: 23 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Robi 2017 losses hit Tk 2.8b

Robi 2017 losses hit Tk 2.8b

Despite encouraging growth in terms of both subscriber and revenue, mobile operator Robi was unable to register any profit in 2017, reports UNB.

Alongside continued investment for network development, a number of market and regulatory factors forced the company to incur heavy net loss of Tk 2.8 billion in 2017, according to a press note issued yesterday.

The intensification of market competition around pricing for both data and voice, made the financial results particularly bleak for the company in 2017. The existing unfair pricing structure created room for predatory pricing and cross-subsidy. Such anti-competitive market practices are helping to deepen the existing crisis with regards to the prevailing unhealthy market competition.

On top of this, the exorbitantly high taxation regime is putting further strain on the financial results of the smaller players. As the country gets ready for 4G era, the dire financial reading of Robi indicates the diminishing power of the mobile operators to finance the ensuing digital revolution in the country.

During the year, the company delivered a strong 26.8% growth in subscriber base over 2016 to reach 42.9 million, adding 9.1 million new subscribers which represents 29.6% subscriber market share. Innovative product offerings, effective dual brand strategy and superior data network experience enabled Robi to deliver a strong growth in subscriber base.

Robi achieved a strong revenue growth of 29.7% YoY to reach TK. 68.3 billion in 2017 driven by the successful merger with Airtel. YoY data revenue also witnessed a strong growth of 89.1%. Data revenue growth was propelled by nationwide smooth network integration after merger coupled with innovative data offerings to drive data usage.

In 2017, EBITDA margin (Operating Profit) stands at 19.0% impacted primarily by higher network operating costs and intense price competition. Robi incurred 2.8 billion net loss after tax in 2017 due to continuous capital investment in nationwide network modernization, significant OPEX, high regulatory cost and sector specific taxation.

Robi successfully added 1.7 million new subscribers in Q4'17 to reach 42.9 million. QoQ revenue grew by 6.4% to Tk. 18.6 billion. Data revenue recorded solid 14.7% growth facilitated by the innovative platforms such as 'MyPlan' which gives flexibility to customers to customize data and voice products according to their choice. QoQ EBITDA decreased by 3.8% to Tk. 3.7 billion in Q4'17 mainly for investing in market front. Robi incurred net loss after tax Tk. 1.3 billion in Q4'17 mainly for one-off adjustment relating to de-consolidation of edotco.