Wataniya Mobile Palestine reports net loss on Gaza launch plan costs

25 Jul 2017

Palestinian mobile operator Wataniya Mobile Palestine has reported revenues of USD21.3 million for the three months ended 30 June 2017, representing year-on-year growth of 2%. Turnover for the first half of the year was broadly unchanged however, at USD41.5 million, equating to annual growth of just 0.1%. EBITDA meanwhile was down 10% y-o-y at USD6.2 million in 2Q17 (and down 16% for 1H17 at USD11.0 million), with Wataniya attributing this mainly to ‘a one-off amount that reduced bad debt expense in [1H16]’, in addition to the costs associated with its preparations for a launch in Gaza. As a result of the lower EBITDA, Wataniya swung to a net loss of USD200,000 in 2Q17, compared to a net profit of USD800,000 in the corresponding quarter of last year, while for the first half it reported a net loss of USD1.4 million against a net profit of USD1.4 million for H1 2016.

In operational terms, Wataniya continued to bolster its subscriber base, reporting 786,000 customers at the end of the reporting period, up from 731,000 a year earlier.

Commenting on the results, Wataniya Mobile Palestine’s CEO Dr Durgham Maraee said: ‘In the first half of 2017, we maintained our focus on growth and improved our market position, now reaching 786,000 customers. Despite the decline in total mobile market value in Palestine, we actually managed to deliver revenue growth. The network roll out in Gaza is progressing very well and we expect to launch our operations in Gaza before the end of the year. At the same time, we are preparing to deploy and launch our 3G network in the West Bank. These developments strengthen our belief that we will continue to achieve growth in the years to come.’

Palestinian Territory, Ooredoo Palestine