Qatar Telecom (Qtel) group has reported a 19% decline in net profit to QR1.44bn in the first six months of this year despite a robust growth in revenues.
The net profit attributable to Qtel shareholders increased by 17% when normalised for a one-off favourable decision on the royalty regime in Qatar in 2010, said a Qtel spokesman.
“Our growth is a result of our willingness to invest in developing markets and to manage those assets with a medium-to-long-term horizon…Fundamentally, the financial results are just a reflection of how we are doing to satisfy and connect with our customers,” said Qtel chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani.
Qtel group – whose priorities remain in-market strategies, driving subscriber growth and services development across its operational footprint – has reported a 16% growth in customer base (consolidated) to 77.5mn and 17% in revenue to QR15.45bn.
“So far this year, we have delivered resilient performances in highly-competitive markets such as Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Algeria, demonstrating our capabilities to meet customer demands and exceed their expectations,” according to Qtel Group CEO Nasser Marafih.
The Qtel Group’s consolidated total assets were valued at QR106.98bn comprising current assets of QR29.42bn and non-current assets of QR77.56bn, according to financial statement filed with the Qatar Exchange.
On the domestic operations, Qtel’s customer base and revenue were rather flat at 2.4mn and QR2.86bn respectively whereas EBITDA (earnings before interest tax depreciation amortisation) rose 3% to QR1.56bn.
The ongoing investment in network and infrastructure positioned the company for future growth with its fibre programme rolling-out throughout neighbourhoods across Qatar and delivering speeds up to 100 Mbps in the trial phase, the spokesman said.
“This investment was paralleled by the growth of Qtel’s entertainment portfolio as the company continued to extend the range of new content and programming available across its diverse channels,” he added.
On Indonesian operations, Indosat’s customer base grew 24% to 47.6mn, resulting in a 9% jump in revenue to QR4.19bn and EBITDA by 3% to QR1.96bn.
In Kuwait, Wataniya Telecom’s consolidated customer base rose 7% to 16.9mn with revenues surging 41% to QR4.65bn and EBITDA by 61% to QR2.05bn. Qtel said part of the increase in revenue and EBITDA was due to the 100% consolidation of Tunisiana following the increase in the shareholding to 75% from 50%.
Wataniya Telecom encompasses the Qtel Group’s businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and Palestine.
About its Oman operations, Nawras’ customer base was rather steady at 1.9mn but revenue was up 6% to QR954mn, while EBITDA fell 4% to QR466mn. Nawras’ ongoing investment in its fixed line business is expected to provide further revenue growth in the future, the Qtel spokesman said.
On Iraqi market, Asiacell witnessed a 7% growth in customer base to 8.5mn, revenues surged 18% to QR2.83bn and EBITDA by 12% to QR1.54bn.