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Batelco posts Q3 2011 results

Revenue and income slip in Q3 and first nine months of the year

Batelco posts Q3 2011 results
Batelco has faced competitive pressure in Bahrain, says Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, but has grown its global subscriber base to 11m.

Batelco has posted its results for Q3 2011, and for the first nine months of this year.

For the period up to the end of September, net income was down 14% from the same period last year, to BD56.5m ($149.9m), while gross revenue was down 4% to BD245.5m ($651.2m.).

For the third quarter, gross revenue was BD82.3m ($218.3m) down 4% from Q3 2010, while net revenues were down by 7% to BD60.3m ($160m). Operating profit was BD18.9m ($50.1m) for Q3, 2011 against BD26.6m ($70.6m) in 2010.

In its home market of Bahrain, Batelco saw mobile service subscribers numbers drop by 10% in Q3, on a year-on-year basis, which it attributed to the entrance of the third operator (Viva) to the market. Fixed line subscriptions also declined, but wireless broadband subscriptions were up 75% year-on-year.

In markets outside of Bahrain, which Batelco says now account for 37% of revenues and 29% of operating profit, the operator saw growth in a number of countries, with the total number of subscribers for the whole group up by 41% year-on-year, to 11 million.

Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, chairman of Batelco, commented: "Since the end of Q2, we have added more than 800 thousand new subscribers to our customer base, which now exceeds 11 million across the MENA region and India. This increase underscores the ongoing growth of our business and the strength of our offering despite a year over year decline in the Group's revenues and profitability, which in line with market guidance have continued to be impacted throughout 2011 by significant and ongoing competitive pressures in Bahrain."

"During Q3, the Group generated strong cash flows, maintained a solid balance sheet and continued to pay substantial dividends to our shareholders. We continue to support the expansion of our network and investments across the region as we seek to add further scale to our operations and deliver even greater value for our shareholders," Shaikh Hamad added.

newly appointed Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed Bin Isa Al Khalifa said that Batelco continues to focus on a strategy of value, choice and customer service, and intends to look for further growth at home and in existing overseas operations, as well as to investigate further acquisitions or joint ventures.

"Acquisitions of mobile and broadband operators in MENA and India are important strategic growth drivers which would allow Batelco Group to grow and diversify its revenues and gain synergies across an increased customer base," he said. "Similarly, acquisitions and partnerships with other operators to grow our scale and investments in ICT related opportunities are also important priorities for the Batelco Group."

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