Telecom Egypt undecided on interim dividend
Cairo, May 14, 2012
Telecom Egypt reported a 1.7 per cent rise in quarterly net profit, and said while the local business environment was stabilising it was too early to say whether it would pay an interim dividend.
"For the time being we continue to operate in a turbulent environment so the first-quarter result is not the time to make a decision about distribution of dividends," chief financial officer Hassan Helmy told Reuters on Monday.
Chief executive Tarek Aboualam said the company expected 2012 revenue to be flat to slightly lower and a mid-40s Ebitda per cent margin.
Egypt's economy has been battered by political turmoil since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from office in February 2011. Since then, a transition to democracy has been marred by violence and rows between political groups and the ruling army.
Telecom Egypt reported first-quarter consolidated net income of 912 million Egyptian pounds ($151 million), on revenue up 12 percent to 2.68 billion pounds. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were 1.39 billion pounds, delivering a margin of 52 percent, the company said. Earnings per share were 0.53 pound.
The company said it wanted to become an integrated telecoms provider and was targeting a mobile virtual network operator if the regulator's terms were suitable.
"Our goal of becoming a total telecoms provider has taken an important step forward with the recent announcement that the National Telecommunications Authority has approved in principle the issuance of an MVNO license," Aboualam said.
"We hope that the dialogue on the terms of this licence will be concluded soon," he said, adding that an internal NTRA committee was preparing the legal and technical terms for the license to be issued by around August.
Telecom Egypt owns a 45 per cent stake in British operator Vodafone's local unit. It said Vodafone Egypt contributed 192 million pounds to group profit.
It shares were down 0.9 per cent. - Reuters