Kuwait-based telecoms group National Mobile Telecommunications Company, which operates under the Wataniya brand name, has reported consolidated revenues of KWD539.4 million (USD1.93 billion) for the twelve months ended 31 December 2010. This figure represents an increase of 13.5% year-on-year. EBITDA for the period reached KWD216.6 million compared to KWD187.6 million, a rise of 15.5%. Net profit was reported at KWD78.0 million compared to KWD108.3 million in 2009. However, after excluding the one-off gains in 2009 – Wataniya was awarded KWD52.1 million in damages relating to licence fees by the Ministry of Communications in Q2 2009 – net profit increased by 38.8% year-on-year.
In operational terms, Wataniya’s consolidated subscriber base increased to 16.6 million customers at the end of 2010, an improvement of 9.5% year-on-year. All of its subsidiaries witnessed increased subscriber figures during 2010, with Kuwaiti unit Wataniya seeing its subscriber base grow 15.7% to 1.78 million. Algeria’s Nedjma remains the group’s largest operation by subscribers, with 8.25 million customers at year-end, whilst Tunisian cellco Tunisiana also saw healthy growth, increasing its subscriber base 13.8% to 5.93 million. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabian cellco Bravo claimed 200,000 subscribers, whilst Wataniya’s subsidiaries in Palestine and the Maldives reported 350,000 and 110,000 subscribers respectively.
Wataniya chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani commented: ‘The year 2010 was another successful period for Wataniya Telecom, showing continuous growth in customers, revenue and EBITDA. In our home market of Kuwait we continue to address the competitive pressures and we have increased our share of the market. Wataniya Telecom’s group revenue has increased by 13.5% and EBITDA has increased by 15.5% compared with the same period in 2009’. The Kuwaiti firm is itself a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom (Qtel), which is yet to report its end-year results.