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Batelco boosts profit, sales

Batelco, the Bahraini telecommunications monopoly, has revealed its net profit climbed 20 percent to BD34.2 million (US$91.9M) in the half-year to June 30, compared with the first half last year. Sales rose 9 percent to BD91 million ($245.8M).

The company reported EPS of 68 fils ($1.83), up 19 percent on earnings in the comparable period in 2001, while ROCE stands at 28 percent. Costs edged higher for the period to BD45.7 million ($123.5M) from BD42 million ($114.4M) the previous year.

According to the results, mobile usage for the half-year generated gross revenue of BD34.3 million ($93M), representing 38 percent of the company’s overall gross revenue for the period, up from 31 percent last year. Earlier this year, Batelco reduced mobile phone prices by up to 40 percent on rentals and 26 percent on calls.

Batelco stated that the number of active mobile phones is 350,886, equivalent to 52 percent of the population. Fixed line revenue, which accounted for 37 percent of overall income, fell 10 percent to BD34.1million ($92.5M) in the period.

HE Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Minister of Transport and Chairman of Batelco, remarked: “Batelco has performed well and its conservative approach to investment, both at home and overseas, has paid off, especially when comparing the company’s financial health with many of the big-name telecomms operators in the US and Europe.”

Meanwhile, Batelco’s Internet and data traffic raised gross revenues of BD14.5 million ($39M) in Bahrain and BD8.2 million ($22.2M) via its joint-ventures in the Kuwait, the Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Both figures, for the half-year, represented growth of 21 percent and 27 percent respectively.

The company added that the total number of Batelco’s home-market Internet customers in June 2002 was 48,381, against 36,669 in June 2001. Some 22 percent of Bahrain’s population uses the Internet, though Batelco’s direct inet customers account for just five percent of this figure.

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