The state telecom giant, ethio telecom, lost 1.9 billion Birr in revenue due to the conflict in the northern part of the country. As a result, its revenue for the first quarter of 2021/22 Ethiopian fiscal year fell 12 percent short of its planned 15.4 billion Birr.
Yet, ethio telecom managed to bag 5.9 billion Birr profit before tax, which is 1.1 billion Birr beyond its plan for the quarter. Its foreign currency revenue plan from international services stood at 90 percent of the USD34 million target. Though its subscribers jumped from 9.8 million to 10.8 million and facilitated transactions worth 2.1 billion Birr, tele birr did not start to generate profit.
“Our services in north Gondar, north wollo, Tigray and partially in Afar regional state are down. We tried to compensate the loss in these areas by maximizing our services in the peaceful parts of the country. Achieving 88 percent of our quarterly plan amidst economic turbulence is a big success,” said a management officer at ethio telecom who spoke to The Reporter on condition of anonymity.
The enterprise sustained major destructions in its infrastructure in the stated regions, apart from losing a portion of its market in the war-inflicted areas. These impacts are forecasted to shadow ethio telecom’s plan to gear-up for the historic competition expected from upcoming international players.
Nonetheless, the official refutes such impact is unlikely. “We will operate in the same business environment with foreign competitors. Rather, we expect more revenue from expected partnerships with the upcoming foreign players. Of course, rebuilding the damages in the northern parts will take us additional investments.”
Currently ethio telecom and Safaricom are negotiating on how the later rents ethio telecom infrastructures, the official confirmed. “We offered them rent prices and they are negotiating. This will generate us revenue, until they develop their own, if that is their plan. But we also plan to generate revenue from other shared services like roaming. When Safaricom subscribers call ethio telecom subscribers, it will generate revenue for us and vice versa,” he added.