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Batelco, the regional telecommunications group with operations across 14 countries, today announced a 3% increase in gross revenues, reaching BD379.4M (US$1,006.4M) for the full year 2017, as compared to BD367.1M (US$973.7M) in 2016.
Organic gross revenue, which grew for the first time since 2009, was boosted by double-digit growth in broadband and digital services, reporting 16% and 13% growth respectively. Quarter on quarter gross revenues also reported an 8% increase compared to 2016 of BD101.9M (US$270.3M) in Q4 2017 compared to BD94.1M (US$249.6M) in Q4 2016.
Group operating profit grew by 2% notwithstanding voluntary employee retirement costs of BD8.1M (US$21.5M) incurred in Batelco Bahrain. Adjusted net profit, excluding impairments and one-off gain on land, was more than BD40.0M (US$106.1M). The Group’s balance sheet remains robust, with cash in hand of BD158.7M (US$421.0M).
The Board of Directors has recommended a full year cash dividend of BD41.6M (US$110.3M), at a value of 25 fils per share to be agreed at the Group’s Annual General Meeting, of which 10 fils per share was already paid during the third quarter of 2017 with the remaining 15 fils to be paid following the AGM in March 2018. The dividend is consistent with previous years and is an example of Batelco’s commitment to its shareholders.
Batelco’s Chairman Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said: “We continue to progress well in order to execute our strategic plan. The business is in great shape, with strong fundamentals, a solid subscriber base and a local market that is outperforming. However, some of our international businesses continue to feel the impact of the political and economic instability across the region and we are providing them with all the support necessary to get them through this difficult period.
“Overall, I am pleased to see that our hard work is paying off. We have maintained a robust cash position and we will pay our shareholders a dividend this year consistent with prior year payouts. I am highly optimistic for the future of Batelco Group as we continue into 2018. We have a sound strategy, an accomplished executive team and a pipeline of products and services to support us in our path forward. As we look ahead, our goal is to build on this recent success and continue to be a national champion for Bahrain.”
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