Sat, 12 Feb 2000

Foreign exchange gain pushes up Telkom's earnings

JAKARTA (JP) Domestic telecommunications provider PT Telkom Indonesia reported on Friday a 85.9 percent increase in net income but the surge failed to incite investors.

Its consolidated income statement for 1999 showed a surge in a net earning to Rp 2.17 trillion (US$283.55 million) thanks to the turnaround in its foreign exchange income from a net loss in 1998 to a net profit in 1999.

The company's shares lost more than three percent to close at Rp 3,900 from Rp 4,025 in the previous day despite the hefty increase.

Analysts said corporate investors gave a cool response to the report as most of them considered the rise in the profit was still below the market expectation.

The net profit announced by the company resulted in an earnings per share of Rp 225.2.

The company's income statement also showed a 18 percent increase in operating revenue to Rp 7.79 trillion from Rp 6.60 trillion in the January to December period in 1998. It also revealed a 21.2 percent increase in total operating expenses from Rp 4 trillion to Rp 4.84 trillion the previous year.

This resulted in a 13.2 percent increase in operating income from Rp 2.59 trillion in 1998 to Rp 2.94 billion in 1999.

The company used a rate of Rp 7,660 to the U.S. dollar in its financial report.

The company said net additional lines-in-service during 1999 was 508,549, a 13.7 percent fall from the 589,178 booked the previous year. Of the net additional lines-in-service, 242,168 were added in Telkom's own operational areas, while the other 266,381 came from areas operated by the company's KSO profit- sharing partners.

Telkom and its KSO partners recorded 6.08 million lines-in- service as of Dec. 31 last year, consisting of 3.25 million lines-in-service in Telkom regions and 2.82 million lines-in- service in KSO areas.

According to the company's report, the number of active cellular subscribers in Indonesia rose by 108.4 percent to 2.22 million from 1.06 million in the same period in 1998.

Cellular operator Telkomsel's subscribers increased 141.5 percent to 1.02 million, the highest growth of the country's seven cellular operators.

Satelindo's subscribers increased by 106.2 percent to 715,489; Excecomindo's rose by 125.5 percent to 383,000; Metrosel's was up by 42.6 percent to 41,424; and Mobisel subscribers increased by 7.8 percent to 12,801.

The number of subscribers to cellular operators Komselindo and Telesera dropped by 52.6 percent and 1 percent, respectively, despite the rise in total demand during the year.

Telkom said that as of Dec. 31, 1999, its total loan portfolio reached a total of Rp 9.21 trillion, about 51 percent of which was denominated in rupiah, with the remainder in foreign currencies. (hen)