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Nawras sees profits decline in Q1

Telco attributes dip in profit to cost of network modernisation

Nawras sees profits decline in Q1
Ross Cormack: Network investments in 2012 were designed to boost customer experience.

Nawras, Oman's second telecom operator, posted a net profit of OMR 7.7 million for the first quarter of the year. This marked a decline of 21% compared to the same period last year, which the operator attributed to "higher depreciation" due to network modernisation.

Revenues for Q1 grew by 3% to OMR 48.2 million compared with OMR 46.8 million in Q1 2012. The growth was driven by increases in fixed and mobile data revenue as well as international voice revenue, offset by a decrease in SMS and national voice revenue.

EBITDA for Q1 was OMR 23.2 million compared with OMR 24.2 million in the same period last year.

Total number of customers grew by 12.3% in Q1 2013 from to 2.2 million. Nawras's fixed service customer base increased by 57% to 51,532 customers in Q1 2013. Its mobile post-paid customer base grew by 5.9% to 182,090 customers compared with 171,980 customers in Q1 2012. The mobile pre-paid customer base for Q1 2013 increased by 12.2% to 2 million compared to 1.8 million for the same period last year.

Speaking about some of the investments made in the first quarter of the year, Ross Cormack, CEO, Nawras, said: "We started the Network Turbocharging programme in order to increase speed, extend capacity and provide wider coverage giving our customers a more rewarding experience. Initial feedback from customers in upgraded areas has been very positive and helped us to achieve positive customer and revenue growth in the quarter. These results were bolstered by further improvements in our customer care service levels."

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