Dhaka, 29 August 2019: Minimum tax of 2% on the total revenue, imposition of direct tax on statutory disallowances (Excess Perquisite and others), and the existing regulatory barriers have dealt a debilitating blow to Robi’s financial performance in the second quarter of this year. As a result, Robi only just managed to eke out a profit in this quarter- registering a meagre 1.2 crore taka profit. However, due to the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16 by Robi in January 2019, this slimmest of profit turned into a loss of 32.2 crore taka.
The company saw its revenue grow by 1.6% compared to the previous quarter reaching 1,858.7 crore taka. Compared to the same quarter last year, the revenue grew by 12.4%.
Compared to the previous quarter, Robi’s voice revenue grew by 2.8% and in relation to the same quarter last year, the voice revenue grew by 9.7%. While, its data revenue grew by 2.5% compared to last quarter and by 28.9%, compared to the same quarter last year.
Robi’s subscriber base grew by 1.3% from last quarter to reach 4 crore 79 lakhs in Q2,’19, representing 29.6% of the subscriber market share. Compared to the same quarter last year, the subscriber base grew by 7.2% in this quarter. At end of Q2’19, 3 crore 1 lakh subscribers were data users, representing 62.8% of its subscriber base.
Without considering the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16, Robi’s EBITDA stood at 662.6 crore taka in Q2,’19 with 35.6% margin. In terms of EBITDA margin growth in percentage point (pp), Robi’s EBITDA grew by 6.6 pp (without IFRS 16) compared to the previous quarter and by 11.0 pp (without IFRS 16) compared to the same quarter last year. Considering IFRS 16 implications, Robi’s EBITDA stood at 849.9 crore taka at the end of the third quarter of 2019.
Robi’s capex investment declined by 11.7% from last quarter reaching 269 crore taka in Q2,’19. The capex investment was made to finance the company’s 4.5G network expansion and other network upgradation activities. As of now, the company has taken a commanding lead in creating the largest 4.5G network of the country by on-airing 8,080 4.5G sites. The total capex investment made by the company since its inception reached 23,720 crore taka in this quarter; during this period, Robi has paid a paltry 290 crore taka to its shareholders in the form of dividend.
Robi contributed 679.7crore taka to the Government exchequer in Q2’19 which amounts to 35.6% of the total revenue for the quarter. Robi’s total payment to the Government exchequer since its inception reached 25,190 crore taka in this quarter.
Commenting on the financial performance of the company, Robi’s Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said: “As feared, the minimum tax of 2% on our total revenue, imposition of direct tax on statutory disallowances (Excess Perquisite and others), and the existing regulatory barriers have had a crippling effect on our financial performance in the second quarter of this year. Going forward, we are very worried that the doubling of SIM tax and the increased supplementary duty will further add to our financial woes as a struggling smaller operator. Although we registered a healthy growth in revenue in this quarter, the revised taxation regime has emerged as an even bigger obstacle than the market related challenges.”
With regards to Robi’s digital transformation journey, he added: “I think we had a pretty good quarter as we organized the country’s first ever Datathon for the Data Scientists and Data Engineers, added the country’s first ever digital donation feature to Noor- the most comprehensive Islamic Lifestyle app, and the introduction of the women focused digital lifestyle solution pack, Ichchedana.”
N.B.# Robi has implemented IFRS 16 in January 2019. Due to this, the EBITDA and profit figures have been impacted. In order to avoid confusion, we have provided both the figures in the press release. The comparison of financial figures reflects the financial figures of pre- IFRS 16 implementation.