Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has reported a 12% decline in first half net profit to QR1.35bn despite revenue gains.
Attributing that the net profit was impacted by adverse foreign exchange movement in Indonesia and Algeria, a Qtel spokesman said the operational results, excluding foreign exchange impact, showed growth of around 9%.
The Qtel group’s consolidated customer base grew 8% year-on-year to 83.7mn, revenue by 6% to QR16.39bn, Ebitda (earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortisation) by 8% to QR7.8bn and an Ebitda margin of 48% (against 47% in the year-ago period).
“We have made good progress in the first half of the year toward our business goals ...We have continued our strategy to invest in markets where we see growth potential,” Qtel chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said.
“We saw strong revenue and Ebitda performance for the Group in the first half of the year. In the face of increasing competition, we are fully aware that our success in the near and far term will depend on delivering exceptional service to our customers, a focus on our operations, and from targeted investments in new opportunities,” according to Qtel Group CEO Nasser Marafih.
In the domestic market, Qtel saw its customer base grow 2% to 2.43mn, revenue by 7% to QR3.1bn and Ebitda by 6% to QR1.64bn.
In Indonesia, Indosat subscriber base rose 7% to 51.1mn. Revenue grew in local currency but due to foreign exchange translation decreased by more than 2% in Qatari riyals to QR4.1bn. “Depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah during the year had a significant impact on profitability, but underlying Ebitda continued to be strong at QR2.1bn (QR2bn),” the company said.
Wataniya Telecom — which encompasses Qtel’s businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and Palestine — saw the consolidated customer base grow 8% to 18.3mn, revenue by 4% to QR4.8bn and a flat Ebitda at QR2bn.
The depreciation of Algerian dinar had also impacted the Wataniya group revenue.
In Oman, Nawras customer base grew 5% to 2mn but revenue fell 2% to QR939mn and Ebitda also by 2% to QR456mn.
Regarding Iraqi operations, Qtel said Asiacell revenue increased by 18% to QR3.3bn and Ebitda by 20% to QR1.8bn.
QNA adds: The Qtel Group has announced that Dr Bassam Hannoun has been appointed as CEO for Wataniya Telecom and will begin his new role from 1 September 2012. Acting CEO Abdulaziz Fakhroo resumes his role as Deputy CEO of Wataniya Telecom.
Dr Hannoun was most recently the CEO of Wataniya Mobile Palestine, where he was responsible for the successful IPO and growth of operations.
Qtel chairman Sheikh Abdullah said: “Dr Hannoun’s knowledge and loyalty to the Group is strong and deep. In Palestine, he and his team have taken our business from a start-up to a real market challenger, delivering world-class service to customers in an incredibly challenging environment.”
Qtel owns 52.5% of Wataniya, which was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately-owned telecoms operator in Kuwait.
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