Beeline Sees Decline in Subscribers

The number of customers subscribing to the mobile operator Beeline has dropped by more than 100,000 in the last quarter, and its average revenue per user has sunk to its lowest in more than a year, the company announced in its third-quarter financial report.

According to figures obtained on Thursday from VimpelCom, Beeline’s Amsterdam-based parent company, the number of users for its Cambodian operations dropped by 106,000 to just more than 1 million between July and September. The average spent by each of the mobile firm’s customers was $1.5, down from $1.7 in the second quarter.

The average amount spent by each subscriber has been rapidly dropping in the past year. In the first quarter of 2011, the amount spent by each user was $3.5.

VimpelCom spokesman Bobby Leach said on Thursday that the drop in subscribers was due to the small numbers of tourists visiting Cambodia during the low season.

“As I understand it, this is because of the end of the tourist season with associated promotions,” Mr. Leach said in an email.

The company’s total Southeast Asia operating revenues—including Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam—have dropped by almost half since the first quarter of this year from $22.8 million to $11.9 million in the third quarter. VimpelCom does not break down operating revenue by country.

The company’s financial results come almost a month after a report in The Financial Times revealed VimpelCom is looking to sell its Cambodian assets.

In March, the company devalued its Cambodia and Vietnam assets by more than $500 million, and in April, the company sold off its Vietnam operations.

VimpelCom has not publicly stated it is looking to sell its Cambodian assets. Beeline opened in Cambodia in May 2009, and is one of 10 mobile operators in the country.

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