MTC Group announces record US$1 billion
Kuwait operator gears up for further expansion in Saudi Arabia.
Kuwait-based mobile operator MTC Group announced a consolidated net profit of US$1.051 billion for the year to end 2006.
The operator also disclosed consolidated revenue figure of US$4.167 billion for 4Q06, an increase of 109% from the previous year. EBITDA stood at US$2.045 billion in the same period, and MTC's total active customers rose to 27 million as of December 31 2006, a 98% subscriber base growth from the previous year.
The strong financials figures follow a year of considerable expansion, with MTC acquiring controlling stakes in two new African operators, Sudan's Mobitel, and Vmobile in Nigeria. MTC also landed a US$ 4 billion credit facility to fund future growth opportunities, the largest syndicated facility for a private sector company in the Middle East.
"The acquisition of the shares we did not own in Mobitel Sudan (61%) in February 2006 coupled with the 65% of Vmobile Nigeria that we concluded in May have significantly enhanced our portfolio with strong cash generating and high growth operations. We are continuously on the look out for new profitable opportunities around the world" said MTC chairman Asaad Ahmed Al-Banwan.
The company intends to reach a total customer base of 70 million, an EBITDA of US$6 billion and a market capitalisation over US$30 billion by 2011, hoping in the process to become one of the top 10 operations in the world by market capitalisation. Managing director of MTC Saad Al-Barrak has his eyes set on Saudi Arabia's third licence tender, and on smaller African markets, for new growth opportunities.
"Saudi Arabia has launched a process that will lead to a third licence award and we will participate and are confident of success. We are also confident about securing a longer license in Iraq and we are evaluating a couple of smaller opportunities in Africa," said Al-Barrak.