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Qtel revenues boosted

Qatar Telecom (Qtel), saw its revenues increase 11% in the first quarter of 2003 after cutting prices and expanding its GSM subscriber base by more than half on the same period last year.

Qatar Telecom (Qtel), saw its revenues increase 11% in the first quarter of 2003, after cutting prices and expanding its GSM subscriber base by more than half on the same period last year.

The operator, currently bidding for regional growth, rose revenues by QR47million to QR470million in the period from January to March 2003, resulting in a 4% increase in operating profit for the quarter, to QR268million.

“This was principally due to increased mobile phone usage spurred by service improvements and attractive pricing,” said the company’s chairman Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Thani.

The drive to attract more users saw the operator’s pre-paid subscriber base rise by 103%, or 80,000, from March 2002 to March 2003.

It also managed to increase the number of its more lucrative, post-paid customers by 20%, and increase wireless revenues by 27%. Qtel’s total GSM subscriber base rose by 55% to 286,500.

However, the operator blamed price cuts to bring its major services into line with market levels for a small drop in net profits to QR268million from QR269million in the first quarter of last year.

Qtel's expenses also rose by 23% to QR202million, which the company said mainly resulted from an 85% increase in general and administration costs due to its transformation programme and promotional activities.

In March, the operator announced that it had completed the restructuring of its business into four units focusing on wireline, wireless, special businesses and general services, as part of a drive to modernise, become more customer focused, capture growth and become more efficient.

Qtel also reported that its internet subscriber base rose by 40% to 19,800 over the twelve months.

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