Qatar’s state-run mobile, fixed line and broadband operator Qatar Telecom (Qtel) posted its highest ever net profit in the first quarter of 2008, following its USD3.72 billion purchase of 51% of Kuwait’s National Mobile Telecommunications (Wataniya) in March 2007. Qtel’s net income in the three months to 31 March 2008 rose 9.4% to QAR557 million (USD153 million), up from QAR509 million in 1Q 2007. First quarter revenue rose by 145% year-on-year to QAR3.55 billion from QAR1.45 billion as the number of total subscribers almost doubled to 16.8 million. Qtel’s share of group customers was 7.3 million compared to 6.6 million a year earlier, it said in a statement, with the remainder accounted for by the Wataniya group. The Qatari market accounted for 35% of revenue, followed by Kuwait, Iraq and Algeria, whilst operations in Tunisia contributed 9% of EBITDA. Wataniya posted net income in the quarter of KWD16 million (USD60 million) on revenues of KWD110.3 million.