Wataniya Palestine has revealed that it narrowed net losses to USD23.8 million in the twelve months ended 31 December 2012, an improvement of 9% year-on-year against the USD26.2 million loss it posted in the previous financial year. Annual turnover meanwhile rose by 12% to reach USD84.1 million, with this growth spurred by an increase in mobile subscribers. As at end-December 2012 Wataniya Palestine counted 610,200 mobile accesses, representing an increase of more than 30% against its end-2011 total. Such growth, the telco said, had been ‘mainly driven by the advanced marketing and sales strategies implemented by the Company to attract and maintain subscribers.’ However, due to a higher proportion of the operator’s subscribers now being signed up to pre-paid tariffs, coupled with exchange rate changes, Wataniya noted that average revenue per user (ARPU) fell to USD10.4 per month in at the end of 2012, down from USD12.7 at end-2011. EBITDA for the full-year period increased by 63% to USD6.4 million, up from USD3.9 million in 2011.
Looking to the year ahead, Wataniya CEO Fayez Husseini noted: ‘While the economic challenges are expected to remain through 2013, Wataniya Mobile will continue to grow its market share, improve operational efficiencies, and long-term competitiveness. We also hope 2013 will take us into Gaza.’