PTCL Group President & CEO Hatem Bamatraf on Friday dispelled rumours that Ufone is currently in the process of acquiring a telecom company while adding that options are always open in businesses. Addressing his maiden news conference at the PTCL headquarters after taking charge as the group head in May 2021, Mr Bamatraf — without naming any entity — said, “We are looking at the market and currently are not in the process of merger and acquisition. But this does not mean that we will not consider any available opportunity.”
He was responding to a question regarding the rumours circulating in the telecom circles that one of the four telcos operating in Pakistan is planning to offload its assets, with Ufone vying to buy these to enhance its outreach. The head of the largest telecom group in the country also did not express eagerness to enter into the 5G auction process. He said the decision will be taken based on market position and the conditions set by the government in the auction process.
However, Mr Bamatraf highlighted that the company plans to strengthen its presence as the only telecom company that offers a complete solution towards digitization which also includes operating a microfinance bank. He added that PTCL has posted the highest ever revenue growth in nine years. Key identities of the PTCL Group include PTCL, Ufone and UBank, while other smaller entities are overseas internet cables.
PTCL CFO Nadeem Khan briefed about the annual financial results for 2021. Company revenue went by 6.3 per cent to Rs138 billion from the previous year. Net profit of PTCL group declined by 21pc to Rs2.6bn owing to the investments in 4G spectrum by Ufone. Ufone posted revenue growth of 4.3pc in 2021 driven by growth in data services, while its net profit declined by 52pc due to investments in additional spectrum.
At the same time, PTCL posted 7pc revenue growth at Rs77bn over the previous year, which is also the highest since 2013. With high Fixed Broadband Sales and fast growth in Fiber to the Home operations, the company has posted a net profit of Rs6.9bn in 2021, up 14pc from 2020. UBank showed 8.4pc in revenue growth and net profit of 23pc in 2021.