Bahraini incumbent Batelco has posted a 32% year-on-year rise in net profit to BHD78.3 million (USD207.7 million) for the first three quarters of 2008, reversing a 2.8% decrease it reported in the first half of the year, and up 0.2% on the same period of 2007. Revenues for the nine months ended 30 September rose 15.1% year-on-year to BHD245.4 million. Batelco chairman Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said regional investments and customer-focused strategy had paid dividends for the company. ‘This improvement was delivered through continued double digit top-line growth and strong focus on cost containment and productivity improvement especially in the Bahrain operation,’ he added.
Overseas operations now represent 36% of Batelco’s revenues. The group’s 96% owned subsidiary in Jordan, Umniah, saw year-on-year nine-month revenue growth of 37%, buoyed by a 31% increase in the number of mobile subscribers, with its customer base standing at 1.369 million at the end of September. Yemeni cellco SabaFon, in which Batelco holds a 26.94% equity stake, delivered an 18% y-o-y rise in turnover, as its mobile subscriber base increased by 41% to 1.942 million. Bahraini GSM customers increased by 20% to 735,000. The Batelco group’s combined active mobile subscribers now exceed four million.