Bimantara Citra triples net profit

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Media and telco group PT Bimantara Citra wrapped up 2006 with a net profit of Rp 446 billion (US$49 million), more than three times the Rp 136 billion recorded the previous year, the company's full-year consolidated accounts show.

Total revenue rose 34 percent from a year earlier to Rp 3.2 trillion, with the company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) more than doubling to Rp 903 billion.

The company said in a statement released Monday that last year's increase in net profits was a result of strong revenue growth, particularly in advertisement income from its media and broadcasting division, which accounted for Rp 1.99 trillion, or approximately 62 percent of total revenue.

Publicly listed Bimantara holds a majority share in the Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia (RCTI), TPI and Global TV stations through its PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) subsidiary. It also holds a majority share in four radio stations through PT MNC Networks, in the Seputar Indonesia daily and in the Genie tabloid through PT Media Nusantara Informasi (MNI).

Another significant increase in revenue was achieved by the company's information technology and telecommunications division. Its CDMA-based cellular phone operator, Mobile-8 Telecom, which at present has 1.82 million customers, contributed Rp 991 billion, or 31 percent of total revenue.

Bimantara's investment and holdings portfolio contributed Rp 247 billion, or 7 percent of total revenue. The company's other subsidiaries include PT Indonesia Air Transport (IAT) operating in the transportation sector and PT Usaha Gedung Bimantara operating in the real estate sector.

Bimantara president Bambang Hary Tanoesoedibjo expected the company to further build its businesses on last year's performance, which he said was the best in the company's 25 year history.

Among future plans, the company will hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting on March 27 to change its name and approve a stock split option and a rights issue by as much as 5 percent of its existing shares.

Bimantara will also continue divesting its subsidiaries outside the group's core businesses of multimedia and telecommunications and complete its acquisition of PT MNC Sky Vision, or the Indovision pay-TV service.

The company is eyeing Indonesia's pay-TV market, to which at present only 3 percent of households in the country subscribe. In countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States between 35 and 90 percent of households subscribe.

Bimantara's shares, which are traded as BMTR at the Jakarta Stock Exchange, rose 1.57 percent to Rp 4,850 on Monday.
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