Bangladesh’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, GrameenPhone, has reported that its net profit for the second quarter of 2010 fell by 32.8% year-on-year to BDT1.68 billion (USD24.5 million), despite revenues that rose 15.4% to BDT18.77 billion. However for the first six months of the year net income climbed slightly, to BDT4.83 billion, compared to BDT4.73 billion in January-June 2009, on an 11.8% increase in first-half turnover to BDT35.81 billion, helped by a 68% rise in data services revenues. Underlying the headline results was a fall in April-June operating income from BDT5.50 billion in 2009 to BDT3.80 billion in 2010 (BDT10.77 billion to BDT9.14 billion in January-June), offset by a BDT500 million net gain in financial transactions in 1H10 compared to 1H09’s net finance expenses of BDT1.15 billion. Marketing and distribution expenses multiplied year-on-year by a factor of ten in 2Q10 to BDT2.88 billion. The GSM operator, a subsidiary of Norway’s Telenor, added 2.6 million net new mobile subscriptions in the second quarter to take its total base to 26.5 million, which it claimed gave it approximately 44% of the Bangladeshi market. The rapid gains have been at the expense of profit margin, which shrunk to 13% in the first half of 2010 from 15% in 1H09; the fall in margin was mainly attributed to GrameenPhone’s heavy customer subsidy total – amounting to BDT3.27 billion in the six-month period.
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