Wataniya net profit plunges 79pc, revenue up
Kuwait, February 16, 2013
Wataniya, Kuwait's No 2 telecom operator and majority-owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), has registered a 79.1 per cent drop in its net profit for 2012 which fell to KD75.5 million ($267 million) from KD362.1 million a year ago.
Announcing the 2012 results, the Kuwaiti group said its net profit was adversely impacted by various factors including competitive pressure in Kuwait, foreign exchange movements in Algeria and Tunisia and an impairment charge for a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) operation in 2012.
However, the telco giant's revenues grew to KD742.5 million ($2.64 billion), up 2.2 per cent over KD726.6 million for the same period in 2011.
Wataniya said its net profit for 2011 includes a fair value gain of KD265.3 million recorded due to revaluation of existing held interest in Tunisiana following the increase in the shareholding from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.
The net profit for 2011 without the fair value gain was KD96.8 million and after amortization of intangibles arising from the Tunisiana acquisition was KD62.8.million.
According to Wataniya, its customer base in Kuwait increased to 2.03 million at the end of 2012, an increase of 3.8 per cent on the same period in 2011. However, its revenues fell 9.4 per cent to KD220.8 million from KD243.6 million in 2011.
The Kuwaiti group pointed out that its Ebitda for 2012 was KD84.4 million compared to KD111.1 million, thus registering a 24 per cent fall. The net profit was at KD 46.4 million ($164.9 million), compared to net profit of KD328.1 million a year ago.
According to Wataniya, its total customer base increased to 19.2 million at the close of 2012, compared to 17.8 million at the same period in 2011, thus registering a 7.8 per cent growth. The revenues for 2012 amounted to KD742.5 million compared with KD726.6 million for the same period in 2011, amounting to growth of 2.2 per cent.
The consolidated earnings per share for the Kuwait firm was 151fils compared to723fils per share earned for the same period in 2011. Excluding revaluation gain the EPS in 2011 fell to 193 fils, down 21.8 per cent compared to 2011.
The Wataniya board has recommended a cash dividend increase of 125 per cent of the nominal value of shares, of which one hundred and twenty-five fils (125 per cent) per share for one.
Commenting on the results, chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani said, "From a strategic standpoint, 2012 has been a successful year as we position ourselves for the future. Wataniya increased its stake in Tunisiana from 50 to 75 per cent and we have seen continued efforts of network modernization across our markets with LTE planned for Kuwait and 3G and fixed services roll-outin Tunisia.”
“While operationally during this period, Wataniya Telecom has seen stable revenue growth of 2.2 per cent, foreign exchange impacts again impacted profitability and competitive dynamics in Kuwait remain challenging. I look forward to 2013 as efforts already underway in our markets will begin to drive positive and sustainable results for Wataniya Telecom,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service