Qatar Telecommunications (Qtel) has reported consolidated group revenues of QAR10.373 billion (USD2.9 billion), a year-on-year increase of 134.7% from QAR4.42 billion in 2006. The state-controlled full-service operator expanded its international operations dramatically by purchasing Kuwaiti group National Mobile Telecommunications Co (Wataniya) in March 2007, and now has a geographic presence in 16 countries. Qtel’s EBITDA reached QAR5.172 billion, an increase of over 97.5% on 2006’s figure of QAR2.619 billion, and the group reported a net profit of QAR1.878 billion (USD523.5 million), up from QAR1.646 billion (USD459 million) in 2006. Consolidated subscribers reached 16.4 million at the end of December (with seven million proportionate subscribers). Units in Qatar, Algeria, Iraq and Tunisia represented 9%, 28%, 26% and 22% respectively of consolidated customers. The number of GSM mobile phone users in Qatar increased 31% to 1.5 million and doemstic ARPU ‘was higher’ as the economy grew and the population expanded, the company said. Wireless services represented 87% (QAR9.054 billion) of total revenues; Qatar, Kuwait and Algeria contributed 43%, 21% and 10% of total turnover respectively.
Qtel’s fourth quarter net profit fell 9.6% year-on-year due to a one-off amortisation impact associated with its purchase of Wataniya, on revenues that more than doubled to QAR3.47 billion, compared with QAR1.34 billion in the year-ago period.