22 Jul 2014
Bangladesh’s largest cellco GrameenPhone has reported that its customer base reached 49.23 million at the end of June 2014, up from 48.68 million three months earlier, and up from 43.97 million at mid-2013, while indicating that its market share remained roughly flat at around 42%. During the second quarter of 2014 GrameenPhone focused on building out its national 3G network (launched in Q4 2013) and adding network capacity to meet the demands of growing data consumption which tripled in the quarter (driven by, amongst other things, ‘five million active mobile Facebook users’), while introducing low-priced mobile devices, as well as diversifying in other areas including its recently launched WiMAX internet service ‘Go Broadband’ and the addition of four more bank partners in its mobile money service. GrameenPhone’s total revenue grew by 9.5% year-on-year in the three months ended 30 June 2014 to BDT26.2 billion (USD332 million), including a BDT500 million (2%) contribution from 3G data services. EBITDA in 2Q14 was BDT14.2 billion, higher than the BDT12.3 billion reported one year ago, and the quarterly EBITDA margin improved from 51.4% to 54.0% over the same period, driven by ‘lower personnel and acquisition cost, and continuing efficient OPEX management.’ CAPEX in the second quarter was BDT3.7 billion, including BDT500 million specifically on 3G rollout, higher than 1Q14 CAPEX of BDT2.8 billion and the BDT2.1 billion spent in the year-ago quarter (although less than the peak spending of BDT6.2 billion in 4Q13).