Sunday, 21 October 2012

Qtel net up 12.6% to QR2.4bn in 9 months

ASIF IQBAL

DOHA QATAR Telecom group (Qtel) registered a 12.6 percent increase in net profit to QR2.4 billion in the first nine months of 2012 as its customer base rose 8.2 percent to 89.2 million.

Group revenue increased 6.1 percent to QR25 billion, supported by solid performances in Qatar, Iraq, Algeria and Palestine as well as a stable Indosat showing, the telecom operator said.

“Competitive environment and the ongoing shift from traditional voice and text to data usage are negatively impacting results in Oman and Kuwait,” Qtel said about its performance in the two countries.

Qtel Group Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al Thani, said, “The results confirm that the group’s strategy and management is delivering financial performance that keeps us on a positive trajectory. As further evidence of this, we have taken steps during the period to increase our stake in Wataniya Telecom and look forward to building upon our achievements in the period and delivering a successful outcome to the year as a whole.” At home, Qtel had 2.5 million customers using its services compared to 2.4 million in the same period last year.

The company’s revenue increased by 9.4 percent yearon- year to QR4.6 billion compared to QR4.2 billion in the same period in 2011, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 9.6 percent year-on-year to QR2.5 billion.

In his assessment of the results Chief Executive Officer Nasser Marafih said, “The performances in Qatar, Iraq, Algeria and Palestine are very impressive and were key to helping us deliver robust revenue and EBITDA growth during these first nine months of the year.” He said he viewed technology and service leadership as a strategic differentiator in key markets, demonstrated in the most recent quarter by our successful 3G launch in Tunisia and the launch of a trial phase for 4G services in Qatar. “We will continue to combine this spirit of innovation with sound competitive propositions across our portfolio as we move through the remaining months of this year,” he said.

Regarding the company’s proposed plans to increase stake in Iraq’s Asiacell, the telecom operator said it currently has a 53.9 percent stake in Asiacell with plans to further increase its shareholding to 60 percent subject to Iraqi Government and regulatory authority approval.

“In the first nine months this year Asiacell’s customer base grew by 12.6 percent to 9.8 million. This growth has translated into a positive year-on-year revenue growth performance, with Asiacell revenue advancing 16.4 percent in the period ending September 30 to QR5 billion,” the telecom operator said.

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