Nawras, Oman’s second national telecoms operator, has announced its preliminary unaudited results for the quarter and year ended 31 December 2012. In a statement to the Muscat Securities Market, Nawras reported its highest ever quarterly revenue of OMR51.4 million (USD133 million) in Q4 2012, an increase of 1.2% year-on-year, with growth mainly supported by fixed and mobile data and international voice turnover. Full year revenue fell 1.7% from OMR196.9 million in 2011 to OMR193.5 million twelve months later, primarily due to a reduction in SMS and on-net voice revenue, partially offset by growth in both mobile and fixed data revenues. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled OMR26.2 million in 4Q12, compared to OMR26.8 million in the year-ago quarter, while full year EBITDA declined 8.2% year-on-year to OMR94.9 million, due to lower revenue as well as a rise in cost of sales thanks to increased international minutes. Net profit declined 13.4% from OMR11.9 million in Q4 2011 to OMR10.3 million twelve months later, and totalled OMR37.0 million for full year 2012, down 22.1% from OMR47.5 million in 2011. Nawras said net profit was affected by lower EBITDA as well as higher depreciation, partially offset by lower interest costs. Higher depreciation was driven by increased investment in network modernisation, while lower interest costs was due to a decrease in outstanding debt.
Nawras, which is majority owned by Qatar Telecom (Qtel), reported an almost 63% increase in its fixed service customer base from 27,175 at the end of 2011 to 44,261 twelve months later. At 31 December 2012 the company had 1.969 million pre-paid mobile customers, up 11.9% year-on-year, while post-paid mobile subscribers increased from 173,274 at the end of 2011 to 179,182 a year later. ‘Our focus in 2012 was on new customer-driven initiatives; delivering the technology to increase customer choice and to bring telecoms, media and data to a larger percentage of our population. We also made substantial investments in people training and development,’ stated Sayyid Amjad Al Busaidi, chairman of Nawras, adding: ‘Nawras has maintained its unwavering commitment to investing in the best available technology for the benefit of our customers. This is a cornerstone of the company’s operational strategy and will continue into 2013 and beyond. Efforts to re-energise our focus on customer experience.’