Robi Axiata Limited, the second largest mobile phone operator in the country, has registered 82.7% year on year profit growth in the 1st quarter of 2021.
After its enlistment on the country's stock exchanges, the mobile phone operator on Sunday announced a 3% interim cash dividend for its shareholders for the first time. However, the company refrained from issuing any dividend for the year ended 31 December, 2020.
The announcement came in an online press briefing held on the day to declare the company's January-March quarterly business update for the year of 2021.
In the first three months of 2021, Robi posted Tk34.3 crore net profit which was Tk19 crore in the same period last year.
During the first quarter this year, it posted a total revenue of Tk1,981 crore, which is 1.7% higher compared to the first quarter of 2020 and 3.2% higher compared to the last quarter of that year.
In the first quarter of 2020, its total revenue was Tk1,950 crore when the country first went under two-month-long general holidays from 26 March, 2020.
Commenting on the financial performance of the company, Robi Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said, "We are very happy to note that all the financial performance indicators are heading in the right direction right at the beginning of the year. Against the backdrop of this positive momentum, we are very proud to declare an interim cash dividend."
Talking about the service quality improvement after acquiring additional spectrum, Mahatab Uddin said the changes would not be visible within a short time as the spectrum was rearranged last week.
"However, Robi now has better spectrum facility compared to the market leader," he said.
Robi has 0.85Hz spectrum for each subscriber while market leader Grameenphone has only 0.59Hz for each subscriber.
Meanwhile, in the first quarter this year Robi's voice revenue declined by 4.2%, compared to same quarter of last year, indicating the growing popularity of Over The Top (OTT) platforms for making voice calls.
Its data revenue, on the other hand, in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 16.3% compared to the first quarter of 2020 by 8.5% compared to the last quarter of 2020.
Recently, Grameenphone's parent company Telenor Group and Robi's parent Axiata Group Berhad got engaged in advanced discussions about a merger of their Malaysian mobile operations Digi and Celcom.
Commenting on this issue, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said the merger will be between the parent companies and it will make no impact on Bangladesh.
Robi is the second largest mobile operator in the country with a subscriber base of 5.19 crore while Grameenphone is in the leading position with 8 crore subscribers.