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Shaikh Mohammed and Hinnawi ... solid growth plans

Batelco 2016 net profit hits nearly $100m

MANAMA, February 23, 2017

Bahrain-based Batelco, a major telecom group, has reported net profit of BD37.6 million ($99.7 million) during 2016, compared to BD49.5 million ($131.3 million) reported in the prior year, marking a 24 per cent year over year decline.

Net profit during the fourth quarter (Q4) decreased by 40 per cent over Q4 2015 and 47 per cent over Q3 2016. The reduced net profits for the period are mainly impacted by an impairment loss on goodwill related to the Group’s operation in Jordan, the statement said.

Batelco posted gross revenues of BD367.1 million ($973.7 million) for 2016, marking a marginal decrease of 1 per cent over the prior year.

Gross revenues during Q4 2016 showed a 1 per cent improvement on the same quarter of 2015 and 4 per cent improvement over Q3 2016 despite competitive pressures across the Group.

EBITDA for the year was BD135.2 million ($358.6 million), a decline of 2 per cent year over year. EBITDA decreased by 3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to Q4 2015 and 12 per cent since Q3 2016. The Group continues to concentrate on its cost containment programmes and sustained a robust EBITDA margin of 37 per cent, a statement said.

Results from operating activities for the year were BD65.4 million ($173.5 million), reflecting a 7 per cent decrease year-over-year and 8 per cent decrease QoQ compared to Q4 2015.  This decline is attributed to increased depreciation charges for higher capex as a result of significant network expansion throughout the Group.

The Group’s balance sheet and financial position remain resilient in spite of the difficult operating environment. As of 31 December 2016, net assets were BD537.0 million ($1,424.4 million) with substantial cash and bank balances of BD172.4 million ($457.3 million).  Earnings per share for the full year in 2016 stood at 22.6 fils, compared with 29.8 fils reported in 2015.

The Group also reported that the Board of Directors would recommend to the Annual General Assembly of Shareholders a full year cash dividend of BD41.6 million ($110.3 million), at a value of 25 fils per share, of which 10 fils per share was already paid during the third quarter of 2016 with the remaining 15 fils to be paid following the AGM in March.

Batelco Group chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: “Market conditions in Bahrain and across a number of the Group operations are challenging due to the world’s economic climate in general and also due to the vibrant nature of the communications industry which is experiencing a powerful shift as all players strive to gain a strong foothold in the world of digitisation.”

“However, in spite of decreased profits, we are encouraged to note that subscriber numbers are up by 4 per cent over Q3 2016 and YoY. The upswing in customer numbers is attributed to our investments in new networks including fibre and our efforts to strengthen our digital solutions portfolio. We are responsive to changes in our environment which helps us shape a flexible and sustainable business model and accordingly, we are optimistic that our subscriber base will continue to grow and ultimately boost the bottom line as a result of our plans going forward.

“Throughout the Batelco Group, our aspiration is to achieve operational excellence. That is central to our goal to drive sustainable revenue growth and deliver value for our stakeholders,” Shaikh Mohammed added.


Batelco Group CEO Ihab Hinnawi stated that competitive pressure and the conversion of growing demands into enhanced revenues combine to challenge the Group daily.

“However, the outcomes of Batelco Group’s operations are far reaching and not only financial as across the Group each operation adapts to market trends in order to make the right investments and deliver the products, services and solutions that their customers demand. We create possibilities by delivering the most up to date services and solutions in each market of our operation, enabling the best-in-class connections and delivering the best value for individuals and businesses. We want each of our customers to enjoy an incomparable service experience wherever they are located,” he said.

“To attain our goals we are focussed on a number of key pillars such as the development and growth of our Digital Solutions throughout the Group, improving the efficiency of our Op-Co’s and the training and development of our own people to ensure the skills sets we need going into the future are readily available.”

“During 2016, we continued to invest in strategic projects across our different operations such as our Mobile Network expansion, acquiring 4G licences and rolling out 4G solutions and unified communications. The results of our investments mean that our main operators can provide end-to-end communications solutions for all sectors of customers,” Hinnawi added.

 “We understand that the availability of full digital services will enable a superior customer experience and offer a new set of customised and innovative services and solutions. During 2017 we will continue to focus on delivering top quality products, services and solutions for both the business and consumer sectors, with all our products and services intended to improve people’s lives in welcome, relevant and affordable ways,” Hinnawi explained.

Looking forward

“I am confident that all teams are fully prepared with solid plans in place to face all operational and competitive challenges in the months ahead of us. While we have a number of strategic plans that cross the whole Group, each operation also has specific plans in place to cater to the unique needs of its customers and geographic locations. In the Batelco Group, we operate globally in order to deliver locally,” noted Shaikh Mohammed.

“Going forward, our objectives are geared towards making substantial progress with our strategic plans in order to exceed customer expectations and enhance their experience while boosting profitability and positioning Batelco Group as a top tier and leading integrator of digital solutions in its chosen markets,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Batelco | bahrain telecom | subscriber base | 2016 profit |

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