Indonesian telecoms group PT Indosat has announced a 24.9% year-on-year rise in first-half 2008 net profit to IDR1.06 trillion (USD116 million), compared to restated after-tax income of IDR845 billion in January-June 2007, on consolidated six-month revenues that increased by 14.9% year-on-year to IDR8.84 trillion. Indosat is Indonesia’s third largest provider of fixed line services by customers and its subsidiary Satelindo has the country’s second largest mobile phone subscriber base. The group also has an ISP division, Indosat Net. Satelindo came near to meeting a target of eight million net new mobile subscribers in the six months to end-June 2008, with 7.9 million new users added in the period, taking its total to 32.4 million (up by 32% on the beginning of the year), and it has now revised its full-year target for net additions upwards to twelve million.
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) became Indosat’s largest shareholder in June via its purchase of a 40.8% stake from companies owned by Asia Mobile Holdings. Middle Eastern newspaper The Peninsula reports that Qtel chairman Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani has been elected President of the Board of Commissioners of Indosat. Other new Indosat board members include Qtel CEO Dr Nasser Marafih, whilst the Qatari telco’s deputy chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Suhaim Al Thani was already a member of the executive committee. With the appointment of its nominees, The Peninsula writes that Qtel now has effective control of the Indonesian firm’s board. Despite the Indonesian government so far blocking its attempts to gain a majority equity stake in Indosat, Qtel says it expects to shortly launch a tender offer for more share in the company once it has received technical clarification from the local authorities.