Qtel Q2 profit up after buying spree
Doha, September 14, 2008
Qatar Telecommunications Co (Qtel) saw net profit rise more than expected in the second quarter in the wake of an expansion spree designed to place it among the world's top 20 telecoms firms by 2020.
The state-controlled group posted second-quarter net profit of 654.5 million riyals ($179.9 million) on a 78 percent rise in revenue to 4.564 billion riyals.
In June, Qtel bought a 40.8 percent stake in Indonesia's second-largest mobile phone firm, PT Indosat. The group has expanded rapidly outside its home country into Kuwait, Iraq, Algeria and Oman and is said to be considering a bid for Iran's third mobile provider.
Qtel said it had consolidated Indosat's results from June and that it would consolidate Indosat's full quarterly results starting in the third quarter, which would provide a significant increase in revenue.
The group has grown quickly in the Middle East and North Africa, where population growth is strong and economies have expanded on the back of high energy prices. It aims to join the world's top 20 providers by the year 2020.
Quarterly profit was above the 540.01 million riyals forecast by an average of three analysts in a Reuters survey last month.
Qtel made profit of 1.18 billion riyals in the six months ended June 30, it said in a statement. It made a profit of 412 million riyals in the second quarter of 2007. - Reuters