Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa
Batelco Q1 profit up 8pc to $38m
Manama, April 30, 2014
Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted an 8 per cent rise in first-quarter profit on Wednesday as the operator added more domestic subscribers and revenue grew following its largest ever acquisition last year.
The Group reported net profit of BD14.5 million ($38.5 million) in the first quarter of the year, versus BD13.4 million ($35.5 million) for the same period last year.
The Group’s gross revenues stood at BD97.6 million (for the period, up from BD71.0 million, an increase of 37 per cent year-over-year and 2 per cent decline over the previous quarter.
EBITDA for the period was BD38.1 million, representing a margin of 39 per cent, versus EBITDA of BD21.9 million and a margin of 31 per cent for the corresponding period in 2013.
The increased Profits and EBITDA for the period were attributed to the ongoing positive impact of the Batelco Group’s overseas operations as well as pleasing performance in the home market. The positive impact of Batelco’s Group operations continues to boost the bottom line with 57 per cent of revenues and 54 per cent of EBITDA generated from markets outside of Bahrain.
Commenting on the results for Q1 2014 following the meeting of the Board of Directors today (April 30), Batelco Group chairman, Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said: “This is an encouraging set of results. It is the fourth quarter that our expanded group operation has been included and we are pleased to note that our investment continues to deliver positive financial and operational results.”
The total subscriber base has grown to 9.1 million across the 14 geographies of the expanded operation, representing 2 per cent growth since Q4 2013 and 19 per cent year-on-year.
Mobile subscriber numbers grew 19 per cent year-over-year and 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter. This increase was supported by strong performance in Bahrain and Jordan as well as across the majority of the Group’s other JV’s.
Broadband customers increased by an impressive 27 per cent year-over-year and by 2 per cent since the previous quarter with results supported by excellent progress in Jordan. Additionally, fixed line subscribers have risen by 41 per cent year-over-year, boosted by the addition of the Island Portfolio.
Shaikh Hamad stated that part of the Batelco Group’s growth strategy is portfolio optimisation and that topping up existing investments such as Quality Net is consistent with such strategy.
“The acquisition provides the right kind of fit for the Group to enhance future value of its international operating companies by realising cost efficiencies and further telecom upside opportunities,” he said.
For the period in Bahrain, mobile subscribers increased by 4 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 25 per cent year-over-year, to reach approximately 905,000 subscribers. The positive results reflect a focus on delivering top quality products and services with best value, great offers and prize winning promotions. Batelco Bahrain’s broadband subscriber base remained steady since the previous quarter but showed a slight decline of 1 per cent year-on-year.
Shaikh Hamad continued by extending a warm welcome to Batelco Group’s newly appointed CEO Alan Whelan who joined the Group at the beginning of April.
“We have started the year in a positive fashion and are optimistic for the future. Our grand plans for 2014 include the roll out of superfast 4G LTE for four of our international operations - Dhiraagu and SURE Telecom in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. This is in line with our strategy to extend our expertise across our entire Group to deliver greater benefits for our customers wherever they may live,” said Shaikh Hamad.
“Our achievements and ongoing success are a reflection of the strong leadership by our executive teams, supported by tremendous efforts by our employees across all markets to retain our customers’ loyalties and improve the way we develop and deliver services.
“We remain committed to delivering innovation, customer service and value and are confident in our ability to strengthen our financial and operational performance throughout 2014,” Shaikh Hamad concluded. – TradeArabia News Service