Omani Qatari Telecommunications Company (Nawras), which is majority owned by Qatar’s Ooredoo, has announced it generated revenue of OMR48.2 million (USD125 million) in the first three months of 2013, an increase of 3.0% from OMR46.8 million in the year-ago period. The company said that growth was mainly driven by rises in both fixed and mobile data turnover, as well as international voice revenue, which more than offset a decrease in SMS and national voice revenue. EBITDA for Q1 2013 was OMR23.2 million compared with OMR24.2 million in the year-ago quarter, while net profit declined 21.4% from OMR9.8 million in the first three months of 2012 to OMR7.7 million twelve months later. Net profit was affected by higher depreciation due to increased investment in network modernisation, the firm said. During the quarter under review, Nawras signed a new OMR70 million financing agreement, followed by two additional bilateral revolving credit facility agreements worth OMR20 million to efficiently support ongoing network investment and working capital requirements.
The total number of customers grew by 12.3% year-on-year to 2.234 million at 31 March 2013, including a 57% rise in fixed service customers to 51,532. The mobile post-paid customer base grew by 5.9% from 171,980 in Q1 2012 to 182,090 a year later, while pre-paid subscribers for Q1 2013 increased by 12.2% to 2.000 million compared to 1.783 million for the same period a year earlier. ‘We started the Network Turbocharging programme in order to increase speed, extend capacity and provide wider coverage giving our customers a more rewarding experience,’ commented Nawras CEO Ross Cormack, adding: ‘Initial feedback from customers in upgraded areas has been very positive and helped us to achieve positive customer and revenue growth in the quarter… Looking towards our future, we were also pleased to announce the launch of 4G LTE service adding another exciting Nawras milestone.’