Bangladesh’s leading cellco GrameenPhone (GP) has reported to the local stock exchange that its revenues in the first half of 2013 climbed by 2.2% to BDT47.4 billion (USD597 million) despite ‘intense’ competitive pressure, while it attributed a 3.8 percentage point drop in EBITDA margin to 49.5% partly to higher marketing expenditure. Net profit for H1 2013 was 47% lower year-on-year at BDT5.1 billion, with the company hit by a corporate tax hike for listed telecoms operators. GP reported that corporate tax wiped out BDT4 billion of profit in the first six months of the year, after the government’s budget for fiscal 2013-2014 raised the applicable corporate tax rate from 35% to 40%. The cellco invested BDT3.3 billion in network upgrades in January-June 2013, while it added 3.9 million net new users in the same period (higher than the 2.8 million net adds in H1 2012), taking its total GSM user base to 43.9 million.
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