Wataniya Telecom, Kuwait’s third biggest cellco by subscribers, has published its financial results for the three months ended 30 September 2013, reporting 3.4% year-on-year drop in revenues to KWD184.456 million (USD654.68 million) from KWD190.961 million in 3Q12. In the period under review, the company’s net profit increased to KWD20.871 million, a 2.5% improvement on the KWD20.361 million reported in the corresponding quarter of 2012, although the net profit attributable to Wataniya decreased marginally by 1.2% to KWD15.3 million over the same period. Wataniya’s EBITDA also dropped to KWD69.7 million, a 9.8% decrease from KWD77.3 million reported in 3Q12.
Wataniya has also taken strides to improve its operational performance, and as a result the group reported that its consolidated customer base reached 19.7 million by end-September 2013, an annual increase of 4.3%, or 900,000 net additions. In its domestic market, Wataniya’s customers decreased by 4.8% to 1.91 million, due to the fierce competition in the telecoms market. Elsewhere, the company experienced healthy growth: in Tunisia the subscriber base grew by 4.6% y-o-y to 7.4 million users, while Algerian telco Nedjma signed up a total of 9.3 million users, a 4.9% annual improvement on the 8.7 million subscribers reported in 3Q12. In Palestine, Wataniya saw its customer base increase by 7.8% y-o-y to 640,000 by 30 September, while in the Maldives the company attracted a total of 240,00 subscribers, corresponding to annual growth of 47.3%.
Wataniya Telecom’s chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani commented: ‘In Algeria, we are now poised to see our 3G ambitions turn to reality, further extending our offering and our leadership there. Our customer base continues to grow in Palestine and Tunisia, even in the face of economic challenges. Our home market Kuwait remains highly competitive, and we continue to believe that the efforts underway here will lead, in time, to new routes to future growth.’