Banglalink’s revenue returned to positive territory in the third quarter of 2020 after tumbling in the second quarter, riding on strong growth in data use, said its parent company Veon in a new report.
The third-largest carrier’s revenue grew 0.8 per cent to Tk 1,150 crore in the July-September quarter from Tk 1,144 crore in the same period a year ago.
With this, the mobile operator recovered from a sharp fall a quarter ago. It had logged in Tk 1,108 crore in revenue in the April-June quarter, down 4.7 per cent from the previous quarter and 4 per cent from a year earlier.
Revenue totalled Tk 3,420 crore in the three quarters this year, an increase of 0.2 per cent year-on-year, the quarterly report of Veon showed.
Mobile data revenue rose 20.2 per cent year-on-year to Tk 280 crore in the third quarter as people use more internet than in the past owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
As of September this year, the segment brought in Tk 840 crore for Banglalink, up 23 per cent during the nine-month period a year ago.
“Banglalink’s performance in the third quarter is quite satisfactory given the operational challenges we faced at that time due to the pandemic, floods, rough weather etc,” said Erik Aas, chief executive officer of Banglalink.
“Despite the hurdles, we registered an impressive 20.2 per cent year-on-year data revenue growth in the quarter supported by the enhanced 4G network.”
“With economic activities resuming across the country, we are gradually trying to recover from the pandemic effects.”
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) advanced 8.4 per cent to Tk 510 crore in the July-September quarter. The average revenue per user was Tk 116 crore, an increase of 2.7 per cent.
The number of mobile phone subscribers for the operator went up by 0.8 per cent year-on-year to 3.28 crore in the quarter. Of them, 2.05 crore are internet users, up 5 per cent thanks to the continued efforts to attract new customers, successful targeting of voice-only customers and network expansion, Veon said.
Average users consumed 2.33 gigabytes of data in July-September, an increase of 52.7 per cent from a year ago, the report showed.
As a part of its goal to make top-ups, account management and other services more convenient for customers, the carrier continuously promoted the use of various digital channels, Aas said.
“Our efforts in this regard resulted in a 33.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth in the user base of Banglalink’s self-care app and the acquisition of 1.5 million customers of Banglalink’s video-streaming app ‘Toffee’ in nine months.”
In October, Veon Ventures joined Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures as investors in ShopUp, Bangladesh’s leading full-stack business to business commerce platform for small businesses, becoming the local company’s first strategic corporate investor.
Veon acquired a 13.5 per cent stake in ShopUp, which raised $22.5 million.
The investment enables Veon Ventures to support ShopUp’s fast-growing digital ecosystem for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, said the multinational telecommunication services company headquartered in Amsterdam.