Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa
Batelco first-quarter net profit falls 17pc
Manama, May 13, 2013
Bahrain-based Batelco Group, a leading telecom company, made a net profit of BD13.4 million ($35.5 million) in the first quarter of the year, down from BD16.1 million during the same period in 2012, marking a drop of 17 per cent.
The Group’s gross revenues stood at BD71 million for the period, down 9 per cent from BD78 million year over year.
EBITDA for the period was BD21.9 million, representing a 31 per cent margin, versus EBITDA of BD28.3 million, for the corresponding period in 2012. The decrease in profitability was mainly attributable to competitive pressures continuing in Bahrain, a statement said.
In line with ongoing efforts to diversify revenues and maximise investments, the Group saw a greater contribution from overseas markets. At the end of the period, 42 per cent of revenues and 39 per cent of EBITDA were generated from operations outside of Bahrain.
As of March 31, there were significant net cash balances totaling BD75.9 million despite the dividend payment during the period. Earnings per share for the period were 8.5 fils.
Commenting on the results for the first quarter following the meeting of the Board of Directors, Batelco chairman, Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said: “Results for the period reflect the intensity of the competitive situation in our home market and the need to accelerate the restructuring programme to reduce our operating costs. Our overseas operations delivered steady performance and sound results.”
“In line with guidance, and despite robust competition in all Mena markets, we delivered reasonable profits although revenues recorded a decline. Also impacting performance were costs relating to our ongoing efforts to enhance competitiveness across the Group. We are focused on preserving margins and strengthening cash flows and the bottom line.”
Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, said: “For the period, we grew our subscribers to 7.9 million across our six existing markets, a rise of 15 per cent year on year and 1 per cent since the start of 2013. This reflected continued growth in mobile and broadband across key overseas markets.”
During the quarter, mobile subscriber numbers grew 13 per cent year over year and 1 per cent quarter on quarter. This increase was largely attributed to customer growth in Jordan and Yemen. It also reflects the success of ongoing efforts in Bahrain to maintain customer loyalty and numbers, the statement said.
Similarly, positive results were also achieved in Broadband where customer numbers for the quarter increased by 76 per cent year-over-year and by 9 per cent since the start of 2013.
During the period, overseas markets continued to deliver enhanced results as highlighted by their growing contribution to the bottom line.
“Innovation remained a constant focus during the quarter as highlighted by the numerous new services, offers and enhancements to speed, reliability and care across the full spectrum of services we offer,” said Shaikh Mohamed.
“Our roll out of the much awaited 4G LTE service is not only a significant innovation for our customers, it also underscores Batelco’s ongoing commitment to investment in the Kingdom’s infrastructure. This commitment to both customers and the markets in which we operate will continue to support our market leadership at home and throughout our growing network,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service
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