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Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and Alan Whelan

Batelco posts $66m profit for H1

Manama, July 26, 2014

Batelco Group, Bahrain-based telecommunications company with operations across 14 countries, has reported a net profit of BD24.9 million ($66 million) for the first half of this year.

The profit compares with BD25.3 million ($67.1 million) achieved during the corresponding period in 2013, a slight decrease of 1 per cent year over year. It is also a 28pc decrease since last quarter, the company said.

Profits for the period were impacted by continued competition in core markets and one-off adjustments, it said.

The results have been positively impacted by contributions from the group’s overseas operations as well as by stable performance in the home market, the company said.

EBITDA for the period was BD71.9 million ($190.7 million), representing a healthy margin of 37 per cent, compared to EBITDA of BD56.6 million for the corresponding period in 2013, a 27 per cent increase year over year and a 11pc decrease quarter on quarter.

The group’s Gross Revenue for the period, which stood at BD194.6 million was up 14pc from BD170.7 million year over year and 1pc decrease quarter over quarter. Operating profit for the period was BD39.1 million versus BD30.9 million for the corresponding period in 2013 reflecting a 27pc improvement year over year and a 20pc decrease over the first quarter of 2014.

The positive impact of Batelco’s overseas operations, particularly in Dhiraagu Maldives and Sure Channel Islands and Isle of Man, continues to boost the group’s bottom line, the company siad.
“At the end of the six month period, 57pc of revenues and 54pc of EBITDA were attributable to operations outside of Bahrain. This is compared with 51pc of revenues and 48pc of EBITDA in the first half of 2013 and 57pc of revenues and 54pc of EBITDA during the first quarter of 2014,” it said.

The group’s balance sheet remained strong; as of June 30 net assets were BD584.8 million with substantial cash balances of BD121.9 million.

Earnings per share were 15.0 fils and the Board of Directors approved an interim cash dividend for shareholders of 10 fils per share for the six month period.

Batelco chairman Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said the group is pleased with the advances it has made which have supported the increase in revenues and operating profit over the first half of 2013.

“The group’s diversification and expansion continues to positively boost revenues and subscriber numbers. It is now one year since we included our Island Portfolio contribution, reported for the first time in the 2013 Q2 results. Over half of our revenues and profits are now generated from outside of our home market, which meets our expectations and aims to offset the impact of ongoing and aggressive competition at home,” Shaikh Hamad said.

“We will remain focussed on our efforts to pool Group resources, technologies and expertise wherever possible as this has directly enhanced our competitiveness and performance across our markets of operation.”

Group chief executive Alan Whelan said the group’s good progress during the first half of the year was in line with expectations and the result of tremendous efforts by the group’s management and staff.  
The group’s subscriber base stands at 9 million customers, a rise of 4pc year on year. This reflects impressive gains made over the past year in the key markets of Bahrain and Jordan as well as across the majority of the group’s subsidiaries and affiliates, he said.

Year on year, the Broadband customer base has increased by 7pc to reach around 287,000 customers, which represents a 1pc increase since the previous quarter. Mobile subscriber numbers grew by 5pc year-over-year and now stands at 8.5 million. Fixed line subscribers numbers remained flat since Q1 and showed a small decline of 3pc year-over-year as demand across most of Batelco’s markets reduces due to the growing preference for mobile services.  – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Telecom | Batelco | profit |

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