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Robi bags Tk34C profit in first quarter of 2021

  • Published at 06:35 pm April 11th, 2021
Robi logo
Logo of Robi Collected

Total revenue of the company from January to March this year stood at Tk1,981 crore

Robi, the second-largest mobile operator of Bangladesh, ended the first quarter of 2021 with profit after tax of Tk34.3 crore. 

Total revenue of the company from January to March this year stood at Tk1,981 crore — 3.2% higher than the last quarter of 2020 and 1.7% higher than the same quarter last year. 

Robi’s voice revenue declined by 4.2%, compared to same quarter last year, indicating growing onslaught of OTT platforms for making voice calls, the operator said in a press release on Sunday. 

Data revenue, on the other hand, grew by 8.5% compared to last quarter, and by 16.3% compared to last year’s same quarter. 

On the back of 6.4% growth compared to last quarter, Robi’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) stood at Tk811.7 crore at the end of the period. Compared to the same quarter last year, EBITDA grew by 3.1%. 

“We are very happy to note that all the financial performance indicators are heading in the right direction right at the beginning of the year,” said Robi Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed 

“On the back of this positive momentum, we are very proud to declare an interim cash dividend,” he added.

Robi’s board of directors have recommended an interim cash dividend at the rate of 3% of the paid-up capital of the company — Tk0.30 per share of Tk10 each. 

The decision was taken at the board meeting held on April 8. Robi’s 25th annual general meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday.

“While we have registered a profit after tax of Tk34.3 crore in Q1 of 2021, we have observed that it is being held back significantly by the impact of the 2% minimum tax on gross revenue,” Mahtab said. 

He added: “Not just that, this unjust tax has also denied us the benefit of slightly reduced corporate tax rate [40%] offered to the listed telecom companies. It is more concerning that our general shareholders are being deprived of the value despite significant contributions to the bourses. We once again urge the authorities concerned to unshackle our business from this unjust tax.”

Robi contributed Tk1,115 crore to the government exchequer in Q1 of 2021, representing 56.3% of the total revenue for the quarter. 

The company made Tk150.6 crore capex investment in the quarter. 

Robi had 13,502 sites at the end of Q1, 100% of which were 4G sites. 

“We are indeed proud to have been the first operator in the country to deploy 4.5G technology in all our network sites,” said the Robi CEO. 

Having acquired new spectrum in the recently concluded auction, Robi is now poised to provide stable high speed mobile internet thanks to its total network site and spectrum mix on per subscriber basis, he added. 

“With 70.6% of our subscribers being internet users at the moment, we believe, we are well on our way towards our goal of becoming the next generation digital champion,” he further said.

Alluding to the regulatory roadblocks, Mahtab said: “Due to the long pending approval of DWDM equipment, we are still unable to make use of thousands of kilometres of fibre optic network which is critical to improving the quality of our service. 

“In absence of effective SMP regulations, telecom market continues to be distorted and such anti-competitive market distortions will have strong negative consumer welfare implications in the near future,” he said. 

Having added one million customers, Robi’s subscriber base reached 51.9 million by the end of the first quarter this year, 70.6% of whom are internet users.

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