Wataniya sees slight growth in Q1 revenue, profit

Also reports 5% surge in subscriber base, attributed to 4G launch

Tags: KuwaitWataniya Telecom (www.wataniya.com)
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Wataniya sees slight growth in Q1 revenue, profit (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  April 29, 2014

Kuwaiti operator Wataniya Telecom reported meagre year-on-year growth of 0.8% in its consolidated revenues for the first quarter, which increased to KWD182.7m ($649.95m) from KWD181.3m.

The telco's net profit also increased slightly, by 1.8%, from KWD19.5m to KWD19.8m. But earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped, year on year, by 5.6% to KWD66.8m.

Wataniya also announced that its customer base across all operating territories reached 20.4m by the end of March 2014, representing an annual increase of 5%. At home, Wataniya's subscriber numbers jumped by 12.1% to 2.22m, which the operator said was due to the launch of its 4G mobile services.

In other markets, the company also saw steady subscriber growth. In Tunisia subscribers increased by 2%, year on year, to 7.39m and Algerian mobile operator Ooredoo (Nedjma) contributed approximately 9.93m customers. In Palestine, the group recorded a year-on-year increase of 4.7% to 650,000 by quarter-end and in the Maldives the company notched up a total of 260,000 subscribers, corresponding to annual growth of 37.4%.

"The first quarter generated not only a broadly positive start to the year for Wataniya Telecom but also provided further evidence of the success of our strategic initiatives across its businesses," said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, chairman, Wataniya Telecom.

"Ooredoo Algeria continues to capture market share, driving revenue and profit growth. Despite the continued challenging market conditions of Tunisia, Ooredoo Tunisiana has delivered solid quarterly performance.

"Wataniya Kuwait is delivering against its recovery strategy, capturing back market share as the business targets a return to revenue growth, having invested in developing the country's leading broadband network. Our markets continue to be highly competitive but we are making good progress in executing our long-term growth strategy."

In 2007, Qatar's Ooredoo, then trading as Qatar Telecom (QTel), acquired a 51% stake in Wataniya and gradually increased its holding to become outright owner of the Kuwait-based group.

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