For the first six months of 2014 Bahrain-based telecoms group Batelco reported consolidated net profit of BHD24.9 million (USD66.0 million), down slightly from BHD25.3 million for the corresponding period in 2013, while group EBITDA for H1 2014 was BHD71.9 million, a 27% improvement on EBITDA of BHD56.6 million posted in H1 2013. Gross revenue for January-June 2014 reached BHD194.6 million, up by 14% from BHD170.7 million year-on-year, while six-month operating profit rose 27% over the same period to BHD39.1 million. Over half of Batelco’s revenues and profits are now generated from outside of its home market, with the aim of offsetting the impact of ongoing and aggressive competition in Bahrain, while results are boosted by its Island portfolio of subsidiaries, which were reported for the first time one year earlier in Q2 2013. The group’s subscriber base stood at nine million customers at end-June 2014, a rise of 4% year-on-year, as mobile subscribers grew by 5% to 8.5 million and broadband customers increased by 7% to reach around 287,000 customers, while fixed line subscribers saw a decline of 3% year-on-year.
In Bahrain, mobile subscribers increased by 23% year-on-year to reach over one million at mid-2014, while in Jordan, Umniah’s mobile subscriber base grew to 2.9 million, an increase of 13% y-o-y, and Jordanian broadband services witnessed 51% growth in the same period. Meanwhile, in the ‘Sure’ branded Channel Islands and Isle of Man operations, Batelco reported a 12% year-over-year increase in broadband customers and 2% rise in mobile subscribers in H1 2014. Dhiraagu (Maldives) reported that its broadband subscribers grew 9% year-on-year, while Sabafon (Yemen) maintained ‘steady results’ and ended June 2014 with more than 4.1 million users, but Atheeb (Saudi Arabia) reported a subscriber decline of 11% year-on-year.