Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) posted a 15.1% year-on-year fall in second-quarter net profit to BHD23.37 million (USD61.99 million), as rising costs and a drop in non-core earnings offset higher revenues from foreign and domestic telecoms operations. Group turnover in the three months ended 30 June rose 17.9% to BHD82.38 million. However, this could not make up for network operating expenses which climbed 32.9% to BHD25.48 million, a 49.9% increase in general and administrative costs to BHD10.63 million, and employee benefits expenses which rose 18.6% to BHD12.35 million. The telco also posted a sharp decline in ‘other’ income from BHD5.15 million in Q2 2007 to BHD461,000 in the most recent quarter, without giving further details. Batelco operates in Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, Kuwait and Egypt, and is aiming to continue expanding to earn 80% of its revenues from foreign operations in the next five years, up from around a third currently. Domestically, the company finished the second quarter with 70,000 fixed broadband subscribers and 202,000 basic fixed lines in service. Batelco also reported that its mobile customer base across Bahrain, Jordan and Yemen reached 3.8 million at the end of June.