Bakrie Brothers back in the black
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
After falling into the red in 2004, PT Bakrie and Brothers Tbk returned to the black in 2005 with net earnings and operating profits of Rp 267 billion (about US$28.8 million) and Rp 223 billion, respectively.
Corporate secretary Juliandus Tobing said in Jakarta on Monday that Bakrie and Brothers, which suffered a net loss of about Rp 267 billion and a deficit of about Rp 73 billion in its operating profit in 2004, booked a significant increase in earnings in 2005 partly due to a better-than-expected performance in the company's infrastructure division.
"The consolidation of PT Bakrie Sumatra Plantations Tbk in the business group's financial statements has also contributed to the significant growth in earnings and assets," he said.
Bakrie and Brothers lost its ownership of Bakrie Sumatra Plantations following the restructuring of its massive debts in 2001. At the end of 2004, the company regained control over the plantation company.
Tobing said the consolidation of the plantation company into the group and the significant increase in the infrastructure business had resulted in a sharp increase in the group's total revenues to Rp 2.7 trillion, more than double the Rp 1.2 trillion in 2004.
He said that the infrastructure division contributed about Rp 1.4 trillion to total revenues, while the plantation division contributed another Rp 883.3 billion.
Tobing said that total assets grew by 34.3 percent to Rp 7 trillion in 2005 from about Rp 5.2 trillion in 2004. "The increase was mainly due to the consolidation of PT Bakrie Sumatra Plantations Tbk into PT Bakrie & Brothers Tbk and the expansion of Bakri Telecom," he added.
In addition to the infrastructure and plantation business, Bakrie and Brothers is also engaged in the telecommunications industry through fixed wireless access telecommunications operator Bakrie Telecom Tbk (BTEL).
Meanwhile BTEL reported Monday 55 percent growth in the number of its subscribers in the first quarter of this year thanks to an aggressive sales campaign.
BTEL also reported Monday that as of the end of March 2006, the number of its subscribers had risen by 55 percent to 757,000 from 487,000 at the end of 2005.
The company also said that in the January to March period, the company had booked gross revenue of Rp 155.3 billion and earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of Rp 42.2 billion. The latter represents a 76 percent jump over the company's 2005 full-year EBITDA.
Given the positive growth trend and taking into account the fact that BTEL is going to expand and launch its services in another 15 cities in the second quarter 2006, BTEL's management is optimistic that its target of achieving a total of 1.3 million subscribers by end of 2006 is feasible.
BTEL will expand its services to 15 cities and regencies in West Java and Banten provinces in the second semester of this year. This means that BTEL, which at present provides services in Jakarta and Banding, will be operating in 17 cities by the end of 2006.