Batelco reports rising profits for first nine months of 2004

18 Oct 2004

Bahrain’s national PTO Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) reported net profits of BHD64.7 million (USD171.66 million) for the first nine months of the year, a 10% rise on the corresponding period in 2003. Gross revenues rose by 7% to BHD152.7 million as the company continued to benefit from its dominant position in the Bahraini market. The telco currently has a stranglehold on the fixed line sector and, with 523,000 mobile users at the end of September, also has a sizeable lead on its sole wireless rival MTC-Vodafone, which boasted just 20,000 subscribers by mid-2004. Despite Batelco’s seemingly unassailable position, the telecoms landscape could alter in the future following a change in the regulatory environment. The Bahraini telecoms market is now liberalised and new operators can compete in the fixed line local and international calls market via carrier pre-selection (CPS) licences. Moreover, six new internet service provider (ISP) licences have been granted and Batelco says it will redouble its efforts to stave off the threat of competition.