Indonesian CDMA operator Bakrie Telecom (BTel) booked gross revenue of IDR928 billion (USD79.53 million) in the first six months of this year, down sharply by 28.9% from IDR1.31 trillion in H1 2013, as net revenue also slumped 30.5% year-on-year to IDR773 billion. Net income (loss) for the six months under review was IDR316.8 billion, on the back of a sizeable IDR292.7 billion loss in the corresponding year-earlier period. The plummeting net income came despite the operator booking a profit of IDR210.7 billion in Q1 2014; BTel’s second trimester saw it record a massive loss of IDR527.6 billion to wipe out the earlier gains.
Attempting to put a brave face on the disappointing results, BTel says that its operating costs decreased by 11% y-o-y (and by 23% when depreciation costs are excluded). In its press release, the company said that its quarterly performance in 2Q14 ‘added to the trend as costs were tightly controlled, reducing them by 3% overall’. Further, BTel says its second quarter EBITDA of IDR161.9 billion was in line with the IDR162.5 billion it booked in Q1 2014, as ‘it was able to grow its subscriber base and maintain operations with lower costs’. Nonetheless, EBIDTA for the six-month period ended 30 June was down 39.0% y-o-y to IDR324.4 billion from IDR531.4 billion.
Operationally, BTel says it gained more than 200,000 net new subscribers in the second quarter, thanks to a focus of promoting affordable, high quality service packages to suit its subscribers’ needs. In the year to 30 June 2014, the telco added more than 950,000 new subscribers to close out the period with a total of more than 12.482 million (7.6%) are voice subscribers and 778,077 (+20.2%) are broadband users.
In June this year, BTel set out its stall to sign up a net one million new customers in 2014, despite its rising level of debt and the indifferent consumer appeal of its code division multiple access (CDMA) business.