Pakistan’s leading operator Jazz saw its revenue growth decline in Q4 2019 as a result of changes to the country’s tax laws obliging operators to refund customers for service and maintenance charges.
Jazz saw its service revenue grow by 1.5% year-on-year to a total of PKR46.9 billion ($304 million). Of this total, data accounted for 32.2% compared to 25.7% for the same period in the previous year – a growth rate of 26.6%.
However, Jazz claimed that had the tax changes not been implemented, it would have seen 14.1% growth in service revenue. The new regime gained the support of Pakistan’s Supreme Court and regulator in September 2019.
A statement from the operator said that it “remained focused on expanding its digital services to drive further growth”. Its Jazz Cash financial services offering in particular saw strong growth, with an active user base of 7.3 million and revenue up by 24.6%.
While Jazz’s parent firm Veon does not reveal net profit in its earnings calls, the unit’s EBIDTA was reportedly PKR14.9 billion – an increase of 7.1%.Jazz saw a 7.6% increase in subscribers, with 60.5 million registered. Of these, around 40% had access to 4G services.
However, the operator’s ARPU fell 1.9% to PKR260, despite a substantial increase (84%) in average data use, which reached 2.5GB per month. The operator’s data network now covers over 60% of the country’s population.