Bangladesh's third-largest mobile operator Banglalink clocked 5.71% growth in operating profit in 2020 compared to the previous year – mostly propelled by growth in data and digital services revenue amid the pandemic.
However, the telecom operator registered de-growth in customer base and no-growth in revenue last year.
Banglalink's mother organisation VEON – a Dutch-domiciled multinational telecommunication services company — published its 2020 fourth quarter earnings release Thursday. According to the report, the telecom operator's operating profit amounted to Tk629 crore last year, which was Tk595 crore in the previous year.
In 2020, Banglalink did not see any growth in total revenue, while the country's largest mobile operator Grameenphone posted 2.84% fall in revenue. Grameenphone also witnessed 5% fall in operating profit last year.
In 2020, Bangladesh's second largest mobile network operator Robi alone reported 1.1% growth in its revenue.
On the financial results, Banglalink's Chief Executive Officer Erik Aas said, "Thanks to our employees' dedicated efforts and consistent support of our customers and partners, we succeeded to maintain the performance despite facing hurdles caused by several unprecedented situations."
"Apart from our efforts, the impressive economic turnaround of the country and customers' growing reliance on digital services contributed to our performance," he added.
The CEO believes they can perform even better if the much-needed level playing field in the industry is ensured through the implementation of more stringent significant market power (SMP) regulations.
Grameenphone and Robi last year registered 3.26% and 3.9% growth in the users' base, while Banglalink reported 1.19% de-growth in the subscribers' base.
At the end of 2020, its subscriber's base dropped to 3.32 crore from the previous 3.36 crore. However, the operator's investment in the network expansion saw 55% growth last year — up to Tk1,070 crore from previous year's Tk690 crore.
The investment helped the operator to win Ookla's Fastest Mobile Network award in Bangladesh for the first and second half of 2020.