Omantel sees marginal rise in Q3 profit
Muscat, November 13, 2012
Oman Telecommunications (Omantel) posted a slight rise in third-quarter net profit, missing analysts' estimates as rising costs and losses from a Pakistan unit offset mobile broadband gains and lower asset depreciation.
The former monopoly on Tuesday reported net profit of RO28 million ($2.6 million) for the three months to September 30, up from RO27.43 million in the year-earlier period, according to Reuters calculations.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Omantel would make a quarterly profit of RO29.88 million. Quarterly revenue was RO108.5 million. This compares with RO109.9 million a year ago.
Nine-month net profit rose 9.2 per cent to RO90 million, Omantel said in a statement, while revenue increased 2.9 per cent over the same period to RO342.9 million.
Omantel said a 67 per cent increase in mobile broadband subscribers was the main reason for revenue growth this year, together with rising wholesale revenue, which was up 8.5 per cent year-on-year.
Omantel has fought back against domestic rival Nawras , a unit of Qatar Telecom (Qtel), in part by hosting mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) Friendi and Renna.
These lease excess capacity, paying wholesale fees and usually a percentage of revenue, while Omantel can also count the MVNOs' subscribers as its own.
Omantel, which also owns Pakistani operator WorldCall, said its group subscriber base was 3.77 million as of September 30, up 9.8 per cent from a year earlier.
"Loss incurred by Worldcall has slightly impacted group profitability growth," Omantel said.
Nine-month operating expenses increased 1.3 per cent year-on-year to RO247.2 million due to a larger wage bill and higher marketing costs and interconnection fees.
Depreciation of plant, property and equipment and amortisation of intangible assets fell by RO5.9 million, Omantel said, without providing comparative figures.-Reuters