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KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the country’s leading telecom and ICT services provider, has announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, at its Board of Directors meeting held in Islamabad on Monday.

During the first six months of 2022, PTCL Group successfully managed to keep the topline growth momentum, which further strengthened its market standing as an integrated telecom services provider in Pakistan.

Growth in revenue is mainly driven by strong performance in the consumer segment led by fixed broadband, mobile data, and business solutions, along with microfinance services that supported the Group in achieving 5.7 percent growth in revenue over the comparative period despite the challenges of increase in Advance Income Tax (AIT) and reduction in Mobile Termination Rates (MTR).

PTCL Group’s revenue of Rs 71.7 billion in 2022 is 5.7 percent higher as compared to the same period of last year. The Group’s profitability remained under pressure due to significant hike in power and fuel tariffs, devaluation of the Pak Rupee against USD, higher interest rates, and other factors like upfront costs associated with the acquisition of 4G spectrum and related network rollout. The Group has posted a net loss of Rs 3.1 billion.

PTCL continued its growth momentum by posting 4.7 percent YoY revenue growth. PTML’s (Ufone) revenue grew by 3.5 percent as compared to the same period of last year. U Bank has achieved a 25.0 percent growth in its revenue over the same period of last year.

PTCL’s revenue of Rs 40.0 billion for the period is 4.7 percent higher than 2021, mainly driven by growth in broadband and business solutions segments. The company has posted an operating profit of Rs 1.9 billion. Operating profit for the period remained under pressure compared to last year mainly due to increase in operating costs on account of significant hike in power and fuel tariffs.

Net profit of Rs 5.2 billion for the period is 38.8 percent higher as compared to the same period of last year. Increase in non-operating income, due to translation gain on the company’s forex denominated assets, dividend income from a subsidiary and gain on disposal of obsolete assets due to upgrade and fiberisation of network, has helped turn the 32.6 percent decrease at operating profit level to a 38.8 percent increase at the net profit level.

During the half-year, the company’s fixed broadband business grew by 10.7 percent YoY, whereas IPTV segment also showed 8.6 percent growth YoY. Within the broadband business, Flash Fiber, the company’s premium FTTH service, showed significant growth of 91.7 percent. Voice revenue stream has seen a decline due to lower voice traffic and continued conversion of customers to OTT services.

PTCL has achieved consistent performance and enhanced customer experience on the back of the company’s seamless fixed broadband, including the fastest internet service in Pakistan through the Flash Fiber brand. PTCL has expanded its FTTH services in 28 cities, and the subscriber base has doubled on a YoY basis as the company continued to tap into the demand for growing internet and data services.

While continuing momentum with overall YoY revenue growth of 5.1 percent, the business solutions segment sustained its market leadership in IP bandwidth, cloud, data center, and other ICT services. PTCL’s corporate business grew by 15.0 percent as compared to last year. Within the wholesale business segment, carrier revenue grew by 9.6 percent but the overall wholesale segment revenue has declined as a result of closure of certain international IP leased circuits. International revenue, helped by the favorable impact of currency devaluation, has increased by 14.0 percent over last year.

PTCL strives to provide innovative, dependable, and agile solutions to its partners through robust telecommunication infrastructure and a diverse portfolio of services with enhanced customer experience.

Post spectrum acquisition, Ufone has achieved growth in 4G subscriber base and data services leading to a 3.5 percent YoY growth in topline despite the challenges of increase in Advance Income Tax (AIT) and reduction in Mobile Termination Rates (MTR).

Ufone continued to expand its network footprint across the country and has significantly modernized its network to 4G since spectrum acquisition. The company has one of the fastest growing 4G subscriber base in the country. External factors like the devaluation of Pak rupee, rising interest rates and hike in power/fuel tariffs have adversely impacted the company’s bottom-line.

VIS Credit Rating Company has assigned initial entity ratings of “AA-/A-1” (Double A Minus/A-One) to Ufone with outlook on the assigned ratings as “Stable”. This acknowledges the financial strength of Ufone through an independent rating exercise which also denotes high credit quality and good fundamental protection factors and is a testimony of stakeholders’ confidence in Ufone.

Ufone’s customer experience remains one of the best within the industry, backed by higher data speeds and industry first innovative products such as “UPower” that has received tremendous response from the customers.

UBank, the microfinance and branchless banking subsidiary of PTCL, continued its growth trajectory and has achieved 25.0 percent YoY growth in its revenue by expanding its advances portfolio.

The balance sheet footing of the bank reached Rs 114 billion as the bank continued to diversify its asset classes and funding streams while ensuring positive bottom-line impact. With the core mission of microfinance at its heart, the business model of the bank is evolving to capture new segments and customer classes to include more of Pakistan into the banking net and further its ambition of financial and social inclusion.

Being a national carrier and Pakistani company, PTCL Group is at the forefront in extending support to the community through various CSR initiatives including collaboration with GSMA to significantly expand its women customer base by the year 2025 and the provision of its flagship Wi-Fi internet devices “Blaze” to participants of the KPK Women Civic Internship Programme to support their pursuit of personal and professional growth.

PTCL and Ufone 4G joined hands with the National Emergency Center of the Government of Pakistan to extend its support for UNICEF’s Polio Eradication Campaign in Pakistan. PTCL Group also supported the local fishermen community of Karachi to ensure the safety of small-scale fishermen during high tide season by donating life jackets.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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