Qtel's 1Q net profit more than doubles

22 Apr 2010

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.