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PTCL posts Rs 23 billion profit

KARACHI (September 25 2003): Pakistan Telecommunication Ltd, (PTCL) said on Wednesday that its profit rose 16.5 percent, to Rs 23.08 billion, and declared a handsome profit of 35 percent for the year ended June 30, 2003.

This is highest ever income and cash pay-out from the company, analysts said.

PTCL held a meeting on Wednesday, and recommended a final cash dividend of 35 percent or Rs 3.50 per share, from 27.5 percent or Rs 2.75 per share, of previous year.

PTCL posted a record growth of 16.5 percent in the net profit for the 2002-03. The bottom line increased by Rs 3.27 billion to Rs 23.08 billion from Rs 19.81 billion a year ago.

Total revenues for the year came out at Rs 67.75 billion, compared to Rs 66.43 billion of previous year, an increase of Rs 1.32 billion, Financial strength of PTCL has improved significantly during the year under review despite challenges of reducing international settlement rates and domestic competition.

Out of the total revenue of Rs 67.75 billion, the Domestic revenue contributed Rs 50.20 billion and international revenue was at Rs 17.55 billion. The domestic revenue showed a growth of 6.2 percent despite reduction in international outgoing and NWD call charges.

However, international incoming revenue showed a decline of 8.3 percent due to downward trend of settlement rates and rupee appreciation.

The growth in domestic traffic was mainly due to expansion, up-gradation and modernisation of PTCL network, leased lines and value-added services.

The earning per share (EPS) increased from Rs 3.88 of the FY 2001-02 to Rs 4.53, whereas EBITDA margin increased to 74.4 percent from 69.8 percent.

Financial leverage of the company also improved as long-term debt-equity stood at 19 percent as compared to 25 percent of last year.

Revenue or account of diversification was reasonably sustained in spite of rate reductions, expansion of Cellular and concessional lower rates for IT industries.

PTCL has continued to improve its bottom line through major cost reductions.

PTCL was in a position to significantly reduce its operating cost by about Rs 2.62 billion, ie, from Rs 34.72 billion to Rs 32.09 billion.

There has been major cost saving on financial charges, foreign operators' costs, employees' retirement, depreciation and amortisation.

Continuing with its committed efforts to bring more efficiency in the post-deregulated scenario, PTCL will be implementing cost-efficient technologies such as Wireless Local Loop (WLL) and Internet Protocol (IP), provisioning of Fibre Access Rings and Multimedia services in the cities using state-of-the-art billing and customer care systems to facilitate its own customers, its business partners and new service providers.

During the year ended June 30, 2003, the number of working connections (ALIS) increased from 3.655 million to 3.983 million, an increase of about 9 percent whereas the total capacity increased from 4.326 to 4,940 million line units showing a growth of 14.2 percent over the year. Direct dialling long-distance facilities were extended to 343 flew stations bringing the total NWD stations to 1986 towns and villages of Pakistan, coverage of almost 40 percent of PTCL licence area.

The Internet access has reached almost 1800 cities and towns, with a data bandwidth availability of Over 400 Mbps, On the international telecommunications side, the expansion at the Gateway capacity and replacement of old switches with new International Gateway exchanges at Karachi and Islamabad has been carried out.

Over 1600 additional circuits were opened on international gateways and added over 200 Mbps of IP bandwidth over the submarine cable and satellite network.

The Annual General Meeting of the Company is scheduled to be held on October 31, 2003, and the share transfer books of the company shall remain closed from October 22, 2003, to October 31, 2003.

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