Batelco eyes $239m '09 profit with India start

Bahrain Telecommunications Corp sees high profits if its Indian affiliate starts operations in Q4.

  • E-Mail
By  Frederik Richter Published  April 23, 2009

Bahrain Telecommunications Corp said on Thursday full-year profit would exceed 90 million dinars ($238.8m) if its Indian affiliate starts operations in the fourth quarter.

However, should Indian mobile telephone operator S Tel Ltd delay the start of operations to beyond 2009, Batelco's profit would be more than BHD100m ($265m) this year, Chief Executive Peter Kaliaropoulos said at a news briefing in Bahrain.

Batelco said in January it would buy 49 percent of S Tel for $225m.

"It will be above 90 million with India in the fourth quarter. If India gets delayed, it will be more than 100 million," Kaliaropoulos said of the firm's full-year profit outlook.

Batelco, which this week reported a four percent fall in first-quarter profit to 26.3 million dinars, posted profit of 104.21 million dinars in 2008.

The company planned to book costs related to starting the Indian operation of about nine million dinars, Kaliaropoulos said.

Kaliaropoulos said he expected Batelco's revenues from domestic operations to grow by around 10 percent this year, mainly on higher income from data and mobile services.

Batelco faces increasing competition in its home market after Saudi Telecom Co won Bahrain's third mobile licence in January.

Kaliaropoulos said Batelco was in talks with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to lower wholesale broadband prices the company can charge competitors for access to its network.

Batelco has suggested wholesale prices 30 percent below new retail prices, which are yet to be set by TRA. Kaliaropoulos said he did not expect lower prices to negatively affect Batelco's domestic revenues.

"We expect customers to spend the same money, but for a faster link, so it's really neutral to us on revenues," he said. (Reuters)

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code