Kuwait-based telecoms group National Mobile Telecommunications Company, which operates under the Wataniya brand name, has reported consolidated revenues of KWD169.8 million (USD614.9 million) for the three months ended 31 March 2011. This figure represents an increase of 5.6% year-on-year. EBITDA for the period reached KWD73.4 million compared to KWD46.6 million, a rise of 57.5%. Net profit for 1Q11 was reported at KWD285.1 million, including a fair value gain of KWD265.5 million due to the re-valuation of Wataniya’s existing interest in Tunisiana; in January 2011 Wataniya increased its shareholding in the Tunisia cellco from 50% to 75%. Net profit in Q1 – not including the fair value gain – was KWD19.6 million, an increase of 21.2% compared to the corresponding period in 2010.
In operational terms, Wataniya’s consolidated subscriber base increased to 16.6 million customers at the end of 1Q11, an improvement of 5.6% year-on-year. All of its subsidiaries witnessed increased subscriber figures during Q1, with Kuwaiti unit Wataniya seeing its customer base grow 15.2% to 1.87 million. Algeria’s Nedjma remains the group’s largest operation by subscribers, with 8.08 million customers at the end of March, whilst Tunisian cellco Tunisiana also saw healthy growth, increasing its subscriber base 10.8% to 5.98 million. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabian cellco Bravo claimed 210,000 subscribers, whilst Wataniya’s subsidiaries in Palestine and the Maldives reported 390,000 and 120,000 subscribers respectively.
Wataniya chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani commented: ‘The first quarter of 2011 was another successful period for Wataniya Telecom, showing continuous growth in customers, revenue and EBITDA. We concluded the increase in shareholding of Tunisiana from 50% to 75%, thus permitting this entity to be fully consolidated into National Mobile Telecommunications Company. In Q1 2011 Wataniya Telecom has seen an increase in revenue of 35.1% and EBITDA by 57.5% compared with Q1 2010. We are committed to providing high quality products and services in order to meet our customers’ needs and demands’.