Orascom doubles global subs y-o-y; seeks approval for HTIL stake increase

25 May 2006

Egypt’s Orascom Telecom has posted a 45% increase in first quarter EBITDA as its group mobile subscriber base doubled year-on-year to more than 35 million. Revenues in the three months ended 31 March rose 38% to EGP5.63 billion (USD979 million), pushing EBITDA up to EGP2.52 billion and net income up 10% to EGP871 million. Orascom has stakes in mobile operators in Algeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Africa and the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville). At the end of March its total subscriber base across all operations reached 35.38 million, up from 17.509 million a year earlier.

Orascom also owns 19.3% of Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd (HTIL), which holds stakes in operators in Hong Kong, Macau, India, Israel, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam. It is looking to increase its stake in HTIL by 3.7%, lifting its overall ownership to 23%, and is currently seeking approval for the deal from the governments of the various countries in which HTIL operates. Orascom CEO Naguib Sawiris told the World Economic Forum on the Middle East that his company is currently seeking permission from Israel’s Ministry of Communication to go ahead with a deal to increase its indirect stake in Partner Communications.