Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company (Nawras), the second leading telecommunication service provider in the country, said its net profit for the first nine months of 2012 declined by 25 per cent to RO26.7 million from RO35.6 million for the same period last year.
Lower net profit was due to lower earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and higher depreciation offset by lower interest cost."Higher depreciation was driven by increased investment in network modernisation while lower interest costs were due to a decrease in outstanding debt,- said a press statement.
Nine month total revenues ended on September 30 were also lower at RO142.1 million, compared to RO146.1 million for the same period last year, a decline of 2.7 per cent. "The decline in revenue is primarily driven by a reduction in SMS revenue, partially offset by growth in both mobile and fixed data as well as international voice revenues.-
The company's EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30 stood at RO69 million from RO76.7 million for the same period last year, a reduction of 10 per cent. EBITDA for the year has been affected by lower gross margin and higher operating expenses.
Revenue has shifted from SMS services to data and international voice. Higher operating expenses are mainly due to higher network maintenance cost. Total number of customers grew by 9.3 per cent or 182,012 to 2,128,965 as of the end of September, 2012 compared to 1,946,953 for the same period of 2011. The fixed service customer base increased by nearly 123 per cent to 38,018 from 17,090 for the same period of 2011. The mobile post-paid customer base was up 2.4 per cent to 177,747.
"The total number of customers has continued to grow for the third consecutive quarter of this year led by a sustained increase in the prepaid customer base. Late in the third quarter, we successfully completed the first stage of Turbocharging the Nawras network at wilayat Al Amerat as the modernisation of our base stations to the latest technology continued,- said Ross Cormack, CEO of Nawras.
Upgrading our core network and introducing a new carrier at 1,800Mhz will allow our customers to benefit from greater capacity and an enriched quality of service via faster broadband speeds. The launch of 4G LTE by the end of the year will take communications to a new level with the customer experience further enhanced in Q1 2013 with the roll out of wider and deeper 3G+ coverage including in-building,- said Ross Cormack, chief executive of Nawras.
Times Of Oman