Struggling Indonesian CDMA operator Bakrie Telecom (BTel) reported a net loss of IDR1.526 trillion (USD113.7 million) in the first quarter of this year, reversing a net profit of IDR211.4 billion in Q1 2014. In a filing to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI), BTel reported first-quarter operating revenues of IDR131.5 billion, down 66% from the IDR390.5 billion figure it recorded in the corresponding year-earlier period. It also reported that revenues derived from telecommunications services amounted to IDR158.7 billion, while interconnection revenues reached IDR29.7 billion. BTel attributed the net loss in Q1 to significant foreign exchange losses, which increased by IDR455.6 billion from Q1 2014. Operating expenses climbed sharply too, from IDR170.3 billion to IDR260.3 billion, resulting in operating costs of IDR842.9 billion in the first quarter, an increase of IDR455.6 billion over January-March 2014. As a result, the CDMA operator booked a first-quarter operating loss of IDR711.3 billion, compared to IDR65 billion a year ago. Local online portal IndoTelko notes that BTel’s total assets in the first quarter of 2015 stood at IDR6.80 trillion, down from IDR7.59 trillion in 2014, while overall debt climbed to IDR6.59 trillion from IDR5.95 trillion.
Earlier this month, TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that Indonesian publicly listed tower operator Solusi Tunas Pratama (STP) is looking to take an equity stake in BTel, as part of the latter’s debt settlement with its creditors. At the time, STP finance director Juliawati Gunawan was quoted as saying that BTel is expected to give up part of its stake to the tower firm ‘as required in a debt postponement petition (i.e. PKPU)’ filed in November 2014. Under the Central Jakarta Commercial Court’s ruling on the PKPU concerning BTel’s debt restructuring, the telco reached agreements with its creditors for the debt-to-equity swap, and whilst the precise details of the deal and size of the stake have not been divulged, Ms Juliawati said: ‘Based on the PKPU, BTel will pay 30% of its debts by cash in a five-year period and the remaining 70% by convertible bonds to be exchanged with its stake.’ Further, it is thought that STP may receive up to IDR406.02 billion from BTel, the amount having been included as a ‘non-current financial asset’ in STP’s latest financial report. BTel is part of the politically connected Bakrie Group and owes IDR1.3 trillion to a number of tower companies, including STP. Under the PKPU, BTel is also expected to cede partial ownership to two other tower companies, Tower Bersama Infrastructure and Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Protelindo), which is a subsidiary of Sarana Menara Nusantara.