Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has posted net profit attributable to shareholders of QAR1.21 billion (USD330 million) for the three months ended 31 March 2010, up by 104.3% from QAR594 million in the corresponding quarter of 2009. Consolidated revenues in the three-month period grew by 14.2% year-on-year to QAR6.42 billion, whilst EBITDA reached QAR3.03 billion, a 14.4% increase compared with a year before. The group’s consolidated customer base – the vast majority being mobile users – stood at 67.68 million at end-March, up 21.1% from 55.87 million twelve months earlier. Domestically, Qtel increased its number of mobile and fixed subscribers by 14.5% in a year, to end the first quarter with a total of 2.40 million. Due to the impact of the entry of its first mobile competitor, Vodafone Qatar, during 2009, domestic revenue in Q1 2010 declined by 6.4% year-on-year to stand at QAR1.4 billion (Q1 2009: QAR1.5 billion), and quarterly EBITDA in Qatar fell by 20.3% y-o-y to QAR713 million (Q1 2009: QAR894 million).
Qtel’s subsidiary Wataniya Telecom, incorporating operations in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and Palestinian Territories, saw its aggregate customer base increase by 36.8% in the twelve months to the end of March 2010, closing the period with 15.76 million subscribers, (March 2009: 11.52 million). Wataniya’s revenues also increased during Q1 2010, rising by 13.1% year-on-year to QAR1.6 billion (Q1 2009: QAR1.4 billion), and EBITDA climbed 9.1% y-o-y to QAR592 million.
According to Qtel’s press release, its Indonesian subsidiary Indosat’s total customer base rose from 34.0 million at the end of Q1 2009 to 39.8 million a year later. Iraqi mobile operator Asiacell’s total active subscribers saw 15.8% growth during the period under review to reach 7.74 million, whilst Nawras in Oman closed 1Q10 with 1.94 million cellular subscribers, up from 1.59 million a year earlier.