Robi returns to winning ways in Q1’19

Dhaka, 28 May 2019: Following a loss making streak because of the merger and intense competition, Robi turned a corner by registering 11.5 crore taka profit in the first quarter of 2019. Creation of the largest 4.5G network of the country by the company is clearly giving credence to Robi’s image as the leading innovative digital brand. However, due to the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16 by Robi in January 2019, the slim profit turned into a loss of 24.6 crore taka.

The slender profit margin and EBITDA growth (Without considering IFRS 16 implications) in the first quarter was driven by higher service revenue and cost optimization initiatives undertaken by the company. Besides, the strong data and VAS revenue growth indicate that the company’s journey towards digitalization is producing concrete results.

The company saw its revenue grow by 3.7% compared to the previous quarter reaching 1,829.1 crore taka. Compared to the same quarter last year, the revenue grew by 12.3%.

Compared to the previous quarter, Robi’s voice revenue grew by 0.6% and in relation to the same quarter last year, the voice revenue grew by 5.0%. While, its data revenue grew by 8.3% compared to last quarter and by 32.1%, compared to the same quarter last year.

Robi’s subscriber base grew by 1% from last quarter to reach 4 crore 73 lakhs in Q1,’19, representing 29.6% of the subscriber market share in the industry. Compared to the same quarter last year, the subscriber base grew by 3.8% in this quarter. At end of Q1’19, 2 crore 90 lakhs subscribers were data users, representing 61.3% of its subscriber base.

Without considering the financial implications of implementing IFRS 16, Robi’s EBITDA stood at 531.7 crore taka in Q1,’19 with 29.1% margin. In terms of EBITDA margin growth in percentage point (pp), Robi’s EBITDA grew by 1.00 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 714.8 crore taka.

Robi made capex investment of 304.8 crore taka in Q1,’19 to further expand its 4.5G network. As of now, the company has taken a commanding lead in creating the largest 4.5G network of the country by on-airing 7,878 4.5G sites. The total capex investment made by the company since its inception reached 23,450 crore taka in this quarter; during this period, Robi has paid a paltry 290 crore taka to its shareholders in the form of dividend.

With 654.1 crore taka payment to the Government exchequer, Robi’s total payment to the Government exchequer since its inception reached 24,510 crore taka in this quarter.

Commenting on the financial performance of the company, Robi’s Managing Director and CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said: “We are happy to see the company edging above the break- even point following the tough financial situations caused by the merger and intense market competition. The bold decision to go on the offense in the 4.5G market along with a plethora of digital lifestyle initiatives over the recent past are beginning to deliver. The continuation of the overwhelming response from customers with regards to porting in to our network using the MNP facility only proves that Robi is standing out in the market as an innovative digital brand. However, much remains to be done in addressing the imbalanced market competition landscape that stymies our growth.”

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.