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Omantel doubles Q4 profit to $50m

Muscat, February 10, 2010

Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) doubled its fourth-quarter net profit to 19.4 million rials ($50.39 million), from 9.7 million rials a year-earlier, according to Reuters calculations.

Full-year net profit for 2009 after tax rose to 125.2 million rials, up 5 percent from 119.2 million rials in 2008, Oman's largest company by market value said on Wednesday.

It did not give a quarterly breakdown of its results, which Reuters calculated based on previous financial statements. Fourth-quarter profit was just below Gulf Investments Services' forecast of 21.3 million rials.

"Omantel's results were as expected, and from speaking to some investors they seem happy with the numbers," said Sayed Quadry, vice-president of business development at Amwal Investment in Muscat. "There should be more buying coming in today."    

Omantel, the Gulf region's second-smallest telecommunication's company, suffered in the nine months of 2009 since its monopoly was broken by Nawras, a unit of Qatar Telecommunications Co and faced more competition from mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

The company, which employs about 2,800 people, said in November it expected to make savings of about 2.8 million rials from voluntary redundancies it offered in 2009 in a move to reduce costs.

Omantel said then it expected to make savings starting 2010 onwards.

Oman, which owns 70 percent of Omantel, invited investor interest in July 2008 for the sale of a 25 percent stake in the operator, but halted the process as the financial crisis swept across the Gulf region. - Reuters




Tags: Telecom | Omantel | profit |

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