Image collected : Logo of Grameenphone
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission recently took a number of regulatory measures against GP to realize Tk12,579.95 crore in government dues
The net profit of leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone plunged by Tk116.40 crore in the July-September period compared to the same period of last year as regulatory actions weighed on its expected growth.
According to GP’s financial statement, the net profit of the company was Tk843.28 crore in third quarter of last year which came down to Tk726.88 crore in the same quarter this year.
“We continued to deliver a solid business performance in the third quarter despite a very challenging regulatory environment. We have been affected by the halt on No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from our regulator. However, 99.5% of the total population is covered by Grameenphone’s network, while 69% of the total population is under our 4G network,” GP chief executive officer Michael Patrick Foley said in a press release on Monday.
“While voice revenue continues to grow, we witnessed a healthy growth in data revenue, along with growth in usage. 53.7% of our total sub-base are now data customers,” he added.
The earnings per share of GP also declined by Tk0.84 to Tk5.38 in the July-September period from Tk6.25 in the same period of the previous year.
On Monday, the price of GP shares dropped by 1.32% or Tk4.2 in the premium bourse Dhaka Stock Exchange.
As of August, GP’s total number of subscribers was 7.56 crore among the 16.25 crore mobile phone users in the country.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission recently took a number of regulatory measures against GP to realize Tk12,579.95 crore in government dues.
In July the telecom regulator temporarily slashed GP’s bandwidth by 30% and also barred the operator from rolling out new packages or services, or import network equipment to pressure them into clearing their dues.
The BTRC also issued show cause notice for license cancellation of the company last month and after reviewing GP’s reply, last week the government decided to appoint administrator to the company.
After running an audit on the Norway based company GP, the BTRC in 2016 claimed Tk12,579.95 crore from GP in taxes and late fees accumulated over several years.
The BTRC ran its first audit back in 2011 on GP, and found financial discrepancies amounting to Tk3,034 crore in the operator's books from its inception in 1996 through to March 2011.
Grameenphone then disputed the appointment process of the auditing firm, and after a court ruling the BTRC in October 2015 appointed another firm, Toha Khan Zaman & Co, to run a new audit on GP’s books from its inception until June 2015.
GP officials claimed that the methodology in the particular issue of the BTRC were questionable.
The High Court, however, last week issued an ad-interim injunction for two months against the realization of Tk 12,579.95 crore from GP by BTRC.
The HC bench of Justice AKM Abdul Hakim and Justice Fatima Nazib passed the order.