Earnings Report /

Grameenphone: Q3 2021 – c4% yoy earnings decline driven by one-off operating expenses

  • GP reported BDT 6.34 Q3 21 EPS vs BDT 6.59 in Q3 20, implying c4% yoy decline. But normalized NPAT growth stood at c1%

  • Low revenue growth yoy due to slow business activities in July amid lockdown and intense data price competition in Q3 21

  • EBITDA margin was 60.1% in Q3 21, lower by 293 bps yoy. Higher gratuity expenses over the previous year caused such dent

IDLC Securities
25 October 2021
Published byIDLC Securities

GP recorded BDT 6.34 Q3 2021 EPS vs BDT 6.59 in Q3 2020. The reported numbers translate to c4% yoy decline in the bottom line and underperformed our expectations by c4%. The major reason for such a yoy decline was BDT1.3bn additional operating expenses, which if adjusted from both quarters, would show c1% normalized earnings growth. The 9M 2021 reported EPS stood at BDT 19.24 while 9M 2020 EPS was BDT 19.89, implying a 3.0% yoy decline in the bottom-line.

Revenue increased by 1.8% yoy in Q3 2021, as a 7.7% subscriber growth was mostly offset by 6.1% decline in ARPU. Here are the key trends for the quarters: 

  • The standalone voice revenue declined by c14% yoy in Q3 2021. Q3 2020 experienced a resumption of business activities after a two-month lockdown in Q2 2020. Therefore, the base was high. Whereas, Q3 2021 experienced a 20-day lockdown as COVID infection surged in Bangladesh.

  • The average megabyte per user (AMBPU) stood at 3,849, increasing by c49% yoy and c7% qoq. The volume usage faced headwinds due to the partial opening of educational institutions during the quarter. The average price per gigabyte of data (APPGB) stood at BDT18, declining by c36% yoy and c7% qoq and suggesting a continuation of intense price competition among the players. Overall, the standalone data revenue grew by 5.0%.

  • However, bundled revenue, a mix of voice and data, stood at BDT4.1bn in Q3 2021, growing by almost 10 times from BDT0.4bn in Q3 2020. Assuming a substantial portion of the bundle revenue comes from data services, we estimate a high double-digit yoy total data revenue growth in Q3 2021.

EBITDA margin was 60.1% in Q3 2021, lower by 293 bps yoy Please note that Grameenphone offered a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to employees which resulted in BDT0.9bn gratuity expenses in Q3 2021 (BDT0.2bn in Q3 2020) and BDT1.7bn 9M 2021 (BDT 0.9bn in 9M 2020). These extra operating expenses increased salaries and personnel costs by c29% yoy in Q3 2021 and reduced the EBITDA margin.

We reiterate Buy on valuation with a TP BDT435 (ETR +28.0%) and an expected dividend yield of 7.0%. It implies 16.3x 2021f PE, 7.4x 2021f EV/EBITDA, 4.6x EV/Sales. GP is currently trading at 13.5x 2021f PE, 5.3x 2021f EV/EBITDA and 3.3x 2021f EV/Sales. Please note that we have revised down our EPS expectation from BDT27.7 to BDT26.7 (-3.7%) and dividend expectation from BDT27 to BDT26 (-3.7%).