"Our business strategy and ensuing endeavors have enabled the PTCL Group to sustain the leadership position in the ICT industry in Pakistan"
Our wireline and wireless broadband services continue to maintain 90% of the market share spanning over 2,000 cities and towns in the country. The demand for our 3G EVO wireless services has witnessed unprecedented growth during the period. The confidence of our enterprise and SME customers in our services has demonstrated good growth and identified new avenues for us to introduce new services and products for this segment of our business.
While the national economy and the overall security environment in the country remained under pressure, the demand for our broadband services has positioned us the second largest growth geography in Asia. We remain cognizant of our environment and despite the odds, we continue to relentlessly focus on enhancing our customers' service experience. Our efforts to re-engineer our customer service delivery processes, supported by technological and business model innovation, we have been able to increase customer retention. On the technology aspect, we will continue to invest in wire line and wireless platforms for all segments of our customer base. Especially, we plan to graduate from a circuit provider to a telecom systems integrator for our enterprise business segment customers.
Good corporate citizenship has always been paramount to our business ethics. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives continued to focus on social initiatives. Some of the significant ones are the establishment of a Broadband E-Health network to help health professionals render medical services to citizens of Pakistan who until now did not have access to specialized medical care. Another CSR initiative was to induct 500 fresh graduates into a One Year Paid Internship Program with the goal to enable this young and budding talent to experience technology, processes, and intricacies of the business world while rubbing shoulders with the best of professionals in the industry.
No company progresses without astute and competent leadership. At PTCL we understand the importance of developing future leaders. Several HR initiatives in this context were implemented including Succession Planning, Leadership Development Program, Service Leadership Workshops to name a few. People alignment in a large organization like PTCL is a challenge that we pursue with tenacity and prudence. This was amply demonstrated through successful implementation of Voluntary Separation Scheme that allowed us to achieve our objectives of aligning employee skill sets with our business priorities, managing operations and expenses and bringing the requisite change within the organization. During the period under review our subsidiary Ufone successfully posted higher revenue and profit growth despite the difficult overall economic conditions. Ufone extended its full support to the Government of Pakistan in its attempt to counter terrorism by suspending services as and when required, despite the negative impact on revenue streams. Ufone's unstinted rendition for enhancing customer service experience through process automation, employee empowerment and technological innovation resulted in customer acquisition growth.
Ufone continued to increase its network coverage footprint by extending its Priority Services to additional cities in collaboration with PTCL. Special emphasis was laid on Data products taking an early start to embrace the impending 3G license regime. The company continued to invest in improving overall operational efficiency, combined with network modernization and expansion projects. 730 new sites were added to the network. For improved cost efficiency new features of intelligent shut down and half rate features were implemented in the network. The tower sharing initiative resulted in substantial savings on operational and capital expenditures.
Ufone continued with its efforts on CSR front with primary focus on working with under privileged children, environment awareness, health and sports.
The world we live in and the way we communicate are changing and at PTCL Group we believe in progress, growth and maximizing opportunity. Our passion to gain customer loyalty impels us to innovate and introduce new services and products for our customers. Concurrently, we strive to ensure that our customer find it convenient to interact and conduct business with us. The expanse and robustness of our network encourages us to undertake new initiatives with focus on sustained long term growth while consolidating the Group's position as the leading integrated telecom service provider in the region.
I would like to extend sincere thanks and appreciation to all our shareholders, including the Government of Pakistan and Etisalat Group, for their continued and unabated support throughout this period. I would also like to thank our employees as well as all our customers, across all market segments, whose patronage, support and confidence in our services has encouraged us to strive harder to match their aspirations and expectations, and to deliver the experiences of the future today.
President & CEO