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Vodafone Qatar narrows Q2 net loss

Doha, November 2, 2011

Vodafone Qatar on Wednesday reported a narrower second-quarter net loss, in line with estimates, as the telecom operator's revenue rose by nearly half, while its chief executive is betting on a 2013 dividend to help lift its sagging share price.

The company, an affiliate of London-listed Vodafone , now posts a positive quarterly earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), but investors appear to remain unimpressed, with the shares down by a quarter from the company's 2009 initial public offering.

Vodafone Qatar has yet to make a quarterly net profit since ending Qatar Telecom's (Qtel) domestic monopoly in 2009.

'We think the share price will move forward,' newly-installed CEO Richard Daly told reporters at a press conference. 'The dividend issuance should help with that.'

At the same event, Chief Financial Officer John Tombleson also reiterated Vodafone Qatar planned to pay a dividend in 2013.

He had told analysts in May, when he was acting CEO, that this might be pushed back a year.

Vodafone Qatar made a net loss of 115 million riyals in the second quarter, according to Reuters calculations.

This compares with a loss of 164 million riyals in the same period a year ago.
The company's financial year starts on April 1.

Two analysts polled by Reuters forecast the firm would post a quarterly loss of between 105 million and 125 million riyals.

Vodafone Qatar's quarterly revenue was 300 million riyals, up from 210 million riyals a year earlier, while it claimed a 25 percent revenue share of Qatar's mobile market.

The firm's capital expenditure will stabilise at 10 percent of revenue from 2015, Daly said, adding his priorities included introducing post-paid contracts for mobile customers. At present, customers are on pay-as-you-go tariffs.

Daly added the company had no plans to launch 4G or LTE (long-term evolution) high-speed networks, but would start fixed line services in 2012.-Reuters

Tags: loss | narrow | Vodafone Qatar |

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