Paltel Group revenue edges down in 2012
Ramallah, February 26, 2013
Paltel Group, a telecom leader in Palestine providing mobile, fixed and data services, has posted consolidated net operating revenues of $516 million in 2012, as against $522.7 million in 2011, marking a decrease of 1.3 per cent.
The results reflect stable performance across operating indicators and growth in EBT despite the current economic downturn in Palestine. The country continues to be affected by changes in the taxation laws, fluctuation in currency exchange rates and the overall slowdown in economic activities in the region.
The Earnings before Tax (EBT) reached $149 million compared with $142.5 million reflecting a growth of 4.6 per cent and this reflects a steady growth in operational indicators from last year, a company statement said.
Net income reached $115.8 million compared with $128 million reflecting a decrease of 9.5 per cent from the previous year which is attributed to the government decision to postpone the investment encouragement 50 per cent tax exemption for an additional two years.
In addition, the tax has been raised from 7.5 per cent in the previous year to 20 per cent in 2012 as per a new tax law that was implemented the beginning of 2012 to raise the income tax from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.
Sabih Masri, chairman of the Paltel Group, said: “The consolidated net operating revenues and the net income do not solely reflect the performance indicators of the Group. On the contrary, the Group achieved significant growth in its customer base in both the fixed and mobile lines which also applies to ADSL subscribers."
"The economic crisis the government is currently facing, coupled with the current challenges in the economy in general and fluctuations of exchange rates, have affected the net income of the Group in the year 2012. In spite of continued external challenges, the Group maintains core investments in the telecom infrastructure in Palestine and foresees future opportunities in this promising sector."
Ammar Aker, CEO of Paltel Group, said: "The Group's operating environment remains influenced by a string of challenges and they are manifested by a deepening economic crisis, increase in tax tariffs, fluctuating exchange rates, increase in infrastructure development costs; all contributing to placing a strain on the financial performance of the Group.”
“These challenges are further exacerbated by additional Israeli obstacles towards the Group's efforts to obtain 3G and 4G frequencies which we perceive as an opportunity for future growth and more development in the telecom sector in Palestine. We are still hopeful to succeed in obtaining these frequencies in order to provide 3G and 4G services to our customers in the near future."
"Paltel Group is slated to witness a new era after the upgrade of the Palestine status at the UN, to a non member state, thus in turn creating an urgency for more digital exposure and a knowledge economy as Palestine aggressively pursues its rights in frequencies as a member of the global community of nations,” Aker added.
“We are also endowed in Palestine with a younger generation that is much attuned to the latest in global technology development to which we respond by developing the IT infrastructure and by launching creative initiatives for Palestinian youth, such as the Mobile Applications Development Initiative (MADI) in 2012,” he said.
"The Group is proud of the year 2012's qualitative achievements; these results continue to motivate us to invest more efforts in the future. Paltel Group remains committed to working with all relevant parties to lead the IT and telecom sector in Palestine,” Aker noted.
“That, in addition to the Group's commitment to its social responsibility based on its belief in the importance of community empowerment and sustainability to help an aspiring young generation of Palestinians to look ahead for a future filled with advanced technology in Palestine. We live in a country that is young but offers promising yields,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service