Banglalink's gross revenue rose 3.4 percent year-on-year to Tk 4,870 crore in 2016, driven mainly by growth in data revenue, its parent company Vimpe-lCom said in its annual report last week.
However, the Amsterdam-based company mentioned nothing on Banglalink's profitability in its report. Banglalink earlier had said it would become profitable in 2016.
Erik Aas, chief executive of Banglalink, expressed satisfaction over the financial results.
“Banglalink fared well in earning revenue in 2016 and we would continue bringing value to all our stakeholders, as we transform our company from a traditional telco into a world-class tech company,” Aas told The Daily Star in a response to a query.
On profitability, he said they are expecting better results in 2017. Banglalink, now the country's third largest operator after the merger of Robi and Airtel last year, saw a decline in the number of active SIMs, but recorded healthy growth in data use.
As of December, Banglalink's customer base stood at 3.04 crore, down 5.9 percent year-on-year after the completion of the biometric verification process; the operator lost 38 lakh connections at that time, according to the report.
However, 1.49 crore of the operator's connections are used for data services, which is an increase of 6.9 percent from the previous year.
Banglalink has also continued to expand its 3G rollout, which now effectively covers 59 percent of the country's population. At the end of 2015, its 3G coverage was only 33 percent.
The operator's capital expenditure was Tk 1,070 crore last year, growing around 2 percent year-on-year, reads the report.
With network expansion and rising smartphone penetration, data usage also rose 192 percent year-on-year to 391MB a month per user at the end of December.
This led data revenue to grow 51.2 percent year-on-year to Tk 490 crore.
“Data is the new emerging revenue source and we are happy to see the positive trend,” said Aas.