22 Oct 2012
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has reported a 74% year-on-year increase in third-quarter net profit to QAR1.07 billion (USD294 million), on revenues which rose by 6% to QAR8.63 billion. The group’s total customer base climbed by 8.2% year-on-year to 89.2 million at the end of September 2012, representing operations in 16 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Highlights of the Q3 results included solid revenue growth in Qatar, Iraq, Algeria and Palestine, and a stable performance by Indosat in Indonesia. During the three-month period 3G services were launched by Tunisian unit Tunisiana and a trial of 4G services began in Qatar, while Qtel raised its stake in Kuwaiti subsidiary Wataniya Telecom to 92% in a USD1.84 billion share buyout. Profitability in the third quarter was helped by a one-off QAR4.6 billion gain from a sale and leaseback of wireless towers in Indonesia, while the group also reported a recovery in domestic revenue as Qatar-only combined wireless and wireline sales increased by 14% year-on-year to QAR1.58 billion in the three months ended 30 September, representing 18% of the group total.