Robi closes 2021 with decent profit powered by 4G data leadership

2% minimum turnover tax casts a long shadow on the company’s profit margin

KEY HIGHLIGHTS – 2021 (January-December)

  • 5 Crore 37 lakhs active subscribers with 29.7% subscriber market share
  • 3 Crore 96 lakhs internet subscribers, which is 73.7% of the total subscriber base- the highest in the industry
  • Revenue: 8,142 crore taka, which is 7.6% higher than last year (2020)
  • Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA): 3,308 crore taka with 40.6% margin
  • Earnings Per Share (EPS): 0.34 taka, which is 5.2% higher than last year (2020)
  • Capex investment: 1,884 crore taka
  • Profit After Tax (PAT): 180 crore taka, which is 16.1% higher than last year (2020)
  • Contribution to the Government Exchequer: 4,575 crore taka, which is 56.2% of Robi’s total revenue for the year (2021)

Dhaka, 16 March 2022: Robi’s 4G leadership position further consolidated in 2021 with 44.4% of its total subscribers being 4G users. Around 73.7% of Robi’s subscriber base were data subscribers in 2021, which was the highest in the industry. Robi disclosed this information while releasing its financial results for 2021.

Robi ensured 98.1% population coverage of its 4G network with 14,822 4G sites. Compared to 2020, data usage per subscriber, per month, increased by 41.1% in 2021. In 2021, each Robi data subscriber consumed 4GB data every month on an average.

Robi’s subscriber base grew by 5.4% compared to 2020 to reach 5 crore 37 lakhs at the end of 2021, representing 29.7% of the subscriber market share; on the other hand, data subscriber base grew by 12.3% in 2021, compared to 2020 to reach 3 crore 96 lakhs. Meanwhile, compared to 2020, Robi’s 4G subscriber base grew by 43.8% in 2021 to reach 2 crore 38 lakhs.

With 2,046 crore taka revenue in Q4’21, Robi’s revenue in 2021 reached 8,142 crore taka. Compared to 2020, revenue rose by 7.6% in 2021. Compared to Q4’20, revenue rose by 6.5% in Q4’21. Voice revenue in 2021 increased by 7.8%, compared to 2020. Compared to Q4’20, voice revenue rose by 11.7% in Q4’21. Data revenue in 2021 increased by 11.8%, compared to 2020. Compared to Q4’20, data revenue rose by 1.9% in Q4’21. Including 499 crore taka CAPEX investment in Q4’21, Robi’s total CAPEX investment for 2021 reached 1,884 crore taka.

Including 13 crore taka Profit After Tax (PAT) in Q4’ 21, Robi ended 2021 with 180 crore taka PAT. PAT in 2021 was 16.1% higher than 2020. However, the PAT figure could have reached far more appealing figure of 343 crore taka, if the 2% minimum turnover tax were removed.

EBITDA in Q4’21 was 781 crore taka (with 38.2% margin), while the EBITDA for 2021 reached 3,308 crore taka (with 40.6% margin), marking a rise of 2.7% compared to 2020.

Robi’s total contribution to the Government exchequer reached 4,575 crore taka in 2021, including 1,205 crore taka in Q4’21. Robi contributed 58.9% of its revenue in Q4’21 and 56.2% of its revenue in 2021 to the Government exchequer.

The company’s earnings per share (EPS) in Q4’21 was 0.02 taka; EPS for 2021 was 0.34 taka, which was 5.2% higher than the same in 2020.

Robi’s Board of Directors have recommended final cash dividend at the rate of 2% [i.e. BDT 0.20 per share]. Therefore, including the 3% interim cash dividend paid out earlier in 2021, the total cash dividend paid in 2021 is 5% [i.e. BDT 0.50 per share], which represents 145.3% of the PAT for 2021. The decision was taken at the Board Meeting held on 15th March, 2022. Robi’s 26th Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on 28th April, 2022.

Commenting on the financial performance of the company, Robi’s Acting CEO and CFO, M. Riyaaz Rasheed said: “We are happy to see our growth strategy consistently working in the market. Robi made the highest revenue growth for the third consecutive year in 2021. With consolidation of 4G leadership position, we are on track with our digital transformation journey powered by innovation.”

Commenting on the profitability scenario, he said: “While we are happy to have turned a decent profit in 2021, we are deeply worried about the severe damage caused by the 2% minimum turnover tax. Had we not been subject to this unjustified tax, our profit could have been 343 crore taka, instead of 180 crore taka; in other words, we could have made 163 crore taka more profit for our shareholders in 2021, if 2% minimum turnover tax was removed.”

Highlighting the steep decline in data price in 2021, he said: “In terms of total data usage in network, Robi’s data traffic rose by 60.8% in 2021, compared to 2020. However, due to tremendous competitive pressures, average price per MB declined drastically by 29.8% in 2021, compared to 2020. Hence, despite 60.8% rise in data traffic, Robi’s revenue only increased by 11.8% in 2021 compared to 2020.”