Strong customer growth lifts Qtel profits

Results "reflect success of strategy", says chairman.

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By  Derek Francis Published  May 1, 2008

First-quarter profits at Qatar Telecom (Qtel) rose 11% on the same period last year to QAR525 million ($144 million) on the back of a growing subscriber base.

The Group's subscriber base has risen 83% over the past year amounting to 16.8 million - with Qatar, Algeria, Iraq and Tunisia representing 10%, 28%, 25% and 23% respectively.

In the three months to March 31, 2008, revenues soared 144% to QAR3.55 billion ($975 million), while EDITDA improved 114% to QAR1.79 billion ($492 million). Its home market was by far the most profitable territory in which the group operates, accounting for 35% of revenues and 48% of EBITDA.

"Continuing on our excellent performance in 2007, we are delighted to see the Qtel Group post excellent results for the first three months of 2008," chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani said in a statement.

"There has been strong customer growth across all of our operations, with commensurate increases in revenue and net profit. These results highlight the success in the execution of our strategy, and we expect this trend to continue well into the future. Qtel will continue to build upon these achievements in order to reach our strategic vision," he continued.

With the creation of Qtel International in February, the Group hopes to extend its regional clout and enjoy operational synergies with its various companies. The new division is to provide leadership to the Group. "Qtel International will ensure that each company and customer of The Qtel Group feel the full benefits of being part of a vibrant international group," the chairman said.

"The strong results in the first quarter of 2008 reflect the success of Qtel Group's strategy of establishing a platform for growth as well as a diversified portfolio of operating companies."

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