Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) has reported that in the first six months of 2011 its net profit attributable to shareholders was 17% lower year-on-year at BHD38.8 million (USD102.9 million), on net revenues that fell by 3% to BHD127.2 million. The declining results were attributed to tough competition in its home market, and rising customer costs. According to Reuters’ calculations, the former monopoly made a second-quarter net profit of BHD20.6 million, down from BHD23.2 million in the year-earlier period. The group instead highlighted its quarter-on-quarter performance, saying in a press release: ‘Our Q2 versus Q1 results delivered 2% growth in gross revenues, flat operating profit at BHD22.7 million and growth in net profit.’ It went on: ‘We are extremely pleased with the continuing growth of our customer numbers, which have increased by nearly 500,000 since Q1 to now reach 10.3 million… Also 37% of our revenues and 25% of our operating profit is now sourced from markets outside Bahrain delivering sound diversification of our business operations… Our Group mobile customer base grew by 12% to 9.89 million since Q4 2010 while our Group broadband customer base has grown by 8% during the same period.’
Batelco’s 96%-owned subsidiary in Jordan, Umniah, reported an 8% increase in its number of mobile subscribers since the beginning of the year, with its customer base standing at 2.3 million at 30 June 2011. Indian unit STel now delivers mobile services to 3.3 million customers, a 43% increase since the beginning of 2011. In Bahrain, Batelco’s total mobile customer base improved marginally, showing an increase of 2% since the end of March 2011. However, while Batelco’s wireless broadband services grew by 14% traditional fixed line services continued to decline, as more and more customers migrate to mobile services.