Nawras Q3 profit falls 47pc, text income down
Muscat, October 21, 2012
Oman's number two telecom operator, Nawras, reported a 47 per cent fall in third-quarter profit on Sunday, blaming the slump on falling text revenue and higher network maintenance costs.
The firm, majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), made a net profit of QR7.2 million ($18.70 million)in the three months to September 30, down from QR13.48 million in the year-earlier period, according to a statement to the Oman bourse.
Nawras, which ended Oman Telecommunication Company's (Omantel) monopoly in 2005, also reported declining profits in the previous two quarters.
Third-quarter revenue was QR46.9 million. This compares with QR49.2 million a year ago.
"The decline in revenue is primarily driven by a reduction in SMS (text) revenue, partially offset by growth in both mobile and fixed data as well as international voice revenues," Nawras said.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) for the nine months to September 30 fell 10 per cent to QR69 million.
"Ebitda for the year has been affected by lower gross margin and higher operating expenses," Nawras said. "Higher operating expenses are mainly due to higher network maintenance cost."
The operator had 2.13 million mobile and fixed customers at September-end, up 9.3 per cent from a year ago.
Oman is the only Gulf country to have issued mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences. Omantel hosts MVNOs Friendi and Renna, which have helped it win back customers from Nawras. – Reuters