Indonesian service provider PT Bakrie Telecom intends to make good on a commitment to pay a USD21.9 million bond coupon next week, CEO Jastiro Abi is quoted as saying last Friday. A number of Bakrie bondholders had expressed concerns over the firm’s ability to pay the coupon on its USD380 million of bonds that are due in 2015, and which are currently trading at ‘distressed levels’ of 33/34 cents on the dollar. Although Bakrie Telecom’s financial report for the three months ending 31 March 2013 show that it only had a cash reserve of USD16 million, Abi told Reuters the company had used internal funds to pay the coupon. ‘We have transferred the full amount of USD21.9 million that we have to pay for the coupon to the trustee,’ the official said, adding ‘we will not miss the deadline as the trustee will pay the bondholders by 7 May’.
Jakarta-based Bakrie Telecom is struggling to compete in an overcrowded telecoms market and has posted two consecutive years of net losses, while its revenue has been in steady decline since 2010. The group booked net losses of IDR97 billion (USD9.98 million) in the first three months of this year, an improvement on the IDR355 billion loss booked in the corresponding year-earlier period. The company reported net revenue of IDR583 billion, up 10.6% year-on-year, on gross sales of IDR684 billion (+1.6%). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), rose to IDR277 billion from IDR191 billion in Q1 2012, in a period in which the carrier reported a 4.3% rise in subscribers to 11.651 million, including 11.020 million voice and 630,804 data users. Minutes of use fell 4.0% to 3,808 minutes, although ARPU improved to IDR20,000 from IDR18,000 in 1Q12.