PTCL profit slumps 84% in Q1

Dylan Bushell-Embling
17 Apr 2015

Pakistan's mandatory SIM validation initiative dragged down earnings at PTCL, with the operator’s net profit sliding 84% year-on-year during the first quarter.

The company reported a profit for the March quarter of 716.39 million Pakistani rupees (7 million), down from 4.35 billion rupees a year earlier, Samaa TVreported.

Revenue fell 9.6% over the same period to 30.18 billion rupees, while financing and operating costs increased significantly.

Pakistani regulators have been running a biometric SIM reverification program as part of a national security crackdown, which has led to some of the nation's mobile operators losing subscribers. As of March, 11 million SIMs had been blocked as part of the drive.

PTCL's mobile unit Ufone appears to have been hardest-hit by the program, with Samaa TV noting that the company's subscriber base had fallen to 21.7 million as of February, from 24.2 million last July.

PTCL is Pakistan's former fixed-line monopoly, while its Ufone subsidiary is the nation's fourth largest mobile operator. PTCL is itself a subsidairy of Abu Dhabi's Etisalat.

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