National Mobile Telecommunications Co of Kuwait (Wataniya) reported on Tuesday a sharp drop in second quarter and half-year net profit due to increasing competition.
Wataniya said it posted 19.1 million dinars ($68 million) in the second quarter, down 48.9 percent on 37.4 million dinars ($133.1 million) a year earlier.
Net profit in the first six months dived 85.3 percent to 47.4 million dinars ($168.7 million) from 322.5 million dinars ($1.15 billion) last year.
Last year’s first-half figure included $945 million as a one-off fair value gain due to revaluation of the assets of its Tunisian unit, the company said.
Excluding that, net profit for the first half of 2012 is still 16.8 percent lower.
Wataniya, in which Qatar Telecom holds a majority stake, said its earnings have been adversely affected by changes of the operating environment in Kuwaiti market and foreign exchange movement in Algeria.
A combination of intense competition, increased regulatory fees and the broader economic environment have placed significant pressure on the quarterly performance in Kuwait, the company said.
Wataniya operates in Kuwait, Algeria, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the Palestinian territories. It serves 18.3 million subscribers, up from 16.9 million clients a year ago.
The Kuwaiti government holds about 25 percent of the company.
Two other mobile firms, Mobile Telecommunications Co (Zain) and Kuwait Telecommunications Co (VIVA), also operate in Kuwait.