Robi Axiata Limited, the country's second-largest telecom company, which is now in the process to off-load share in the capital market, posted a 33% decline in net profit in the third quarter compared to the previous period this year.
However, the operator registered a 9.7% growth in revenue during the time.
Robi claimed that the profit figure would have looked far more appealing if it had not paid a 77.06% effective tax rate with the 2% minimum turnover tax during the time.
Robi's Managing Director and CEO, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, alleged that they are being treated with a discriminatory taxation system as the market leader Geameenphone, also listed in the capital market, pays 40-45% tax.
He commented while addressing a press meet organised to disclose Robi's financial results for the third quarter.
In the press meet, Robi officials said that the operator ended the third quarter of this year with a profit of Tk38.9 crore while its revenue for the time reached to Tk1,934 crore.
Earlier, the company had registered a Tk58 crore profit in the second quarter. At that time, its total revenue was Tk 1,762 crore.
The operator is now in the process to be enlisted at the capital market to reduce its tax burden. It aims to raise Tk524 crore from the market through an initial public offering (IPO) at a fixed price method, to use for network expansion.
A huge response has been seen among general investors in the capital market over Robi's IPO as more than one lakh new BO accounts were opened to participate in the share subscription, according to several brokerage firms.
More than 10 applications have been submitted against each share, according to the DSE.
"We hope that the government will allow us more fiscal headroom by addressing this stumbling block so that we can share the fruits of improved performance with our new shareholders following the stock market listing," said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.
Meanwhile, during Robi's share subscription period, the main index and turnover of the Dhaka Stock Exchange fell for four consecutive days.
In the press meet, Robi officials claimed that 97% of its sites already came under 4G coverage.
Robi's active subscriber base increased by 4.5% than the previous quarter, reaching 5.01 crore.
Out of 5,01,00,000 active subscribers, 3,47,00,000 are internet users representing 69.2% of Robi's total subscriber base.
The operator saw double-digit growth of 12.1% in the voice revenue, compared to the previous quarter, reaching Tk972 crore in Q3'20.
However, compared to the same quarter of last year, its voice revenue dipped by 8.2%, indicating a sharp decline in 2G based voice call service caused by the corona pandemic.
Data revenue reached Tk684 crore in Q3'20, following a 6.8% increase, compared to the previous quarter. Compared to the same quarter of the last year, data revenue grew by 22% in Q3'20.
In the first nine months (Jan-Sept) of this year, Robi's total revenue reached Tk5,644 crore; compared to the same period of last year, this translates into 1.0% growth.
Robi Axiata Limited is a joint venture of the Asian telecom giant Axiata Group Berhad, based in Malaysia, and the global telecom giant Bharti Airtel, based in India; with Axiata holding the majority shares.
Robi has 30% of the country's total mobile subscribers.