The Gambia Telecommunications Company Limited (GAMTEL) reported total revenue of D906 million in 2014, compared to D1.030 billion in 2013, representing a drop of D124million or 12%.
This was disclosed by Alhaji TSA Njie, chairman of the Gamtel/Gamcel Board, who presented his institution’s 2014 Annual Activity Report before the Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly on Monday.
He said this is because the financial performance of the company in 2014 dropped slightly, noting that the main reasons for this drop in revenue could be attributed to the continuous fall in the international traffic as well as stiff competition from the mobile operators.
According to him, the total cost of sales for the year was D503 million compared to D537 million in 2013, representing a decrease of D34 million or 6.33%. The main contributory factor, he added was the total withdrawal of international traffic together with the cost element of it.
“Gross profit margin decreased by D90 million (18%) during the year from D493 million in 2013 to D403 in 2014. Unlike a 17% increase in 2013, the administrative expenses in 2014 decreased by 22.2% (86 million), from D388 million in 2013 to D302 million. Net operating expenses also showed a decrease of D59 million (9.4%) from D625 million in 2013 to D566million in 2014,” he stated.
During the year, Njie further informed the PAC/PEC members, the major challenges faced by the company as reported in previous activity reports were financial constraints to timely meet financial and operational obligations and an aging telecommunications infrastructure and equipment which are no longer being supported by suppliers.
He stated that Gambia Telecommunications Cellular Company Limited (Gamcel) was established as a subsidiary of Gamtel in the year 2000 to build and operate cellular services. From a customer base of 15, 000 in 2001 when it started operations, the company now boasts of over 360, 000 customers.
He opined that during the year under review, Gamcel’s turnover was D612.743 million compared to 701.848in the previous year. These results, he added show a drop of D89.105 million representing 12.7%.
“This drop in revenue could be associated with lack of network expansion as well as poor quality service resulting to Gamcel losing its customers to their competitors,” he added.
He further disclosed that in order to improve revenue generation, Gamcel continued on a nationwide rehabilitation and maintenance of the obsolete infrastructure to ensure increased coverage and uninterrupted service delivery to their customers. “In 2014, seven new cell sites were commissioned in the following villages: Makka Gui, Kerr Jarga Jobe, Kampassa, Gambissara, Pakaliba and Bureng,” he said.
“Due to the high demand for 3G services in the Greater Banjul Area, five NodeBs were commissioned at Brusubi, Serrekunda Market, Kanifing, Sinchu Alagi and Lamin thus increasing the number of 3G BTS to 31. To also reduce congestion in the GBA, a second carrier was added to eleven NodeBs in Banjul and Serrekunda.”
Lamin Sambou, assistant procurement officer at the Gambia Public Procurement Authority (GPPA) said that Gamtel was found to be 95% compliant while Gamcel was found to be 90% complaint. Sitting continues tomorrow.
by Aji Fatou Faal-Sonko