Bahraini telecoms group Batelco has announced its financial results for the full year ended 31 December 2019, reporting a 3% year-on-year rise in net profit to BHD51.6 million (USD136 million), driven by a 4% increase in operating profit to BHD75.5 million and a BHD28.4 million gain on the sale of Qualitynet in May 2019. Gross revenue fell 1% year-on-year to BHD401.5 million and full-year 2019 EBITDA also dropped 1% from BHD142.8 million to BHD141.7 million, impacted by the BHD11.1 million cost of a voluntary employee retirement programme, without which adjusted EBITDA would have been 7% higher year-on-year, thanks to a 5% reduction in operating expenses compared with 2018. The company notes it retains a ‘healthy’ EBITDA margin of 35%.
The group reported its total subscriber base fell 2% to 8.4 million at the end of 2019 compared with 8.6 million the previous year. International operations accounted for 56% of the group’s total revenues in 2019, down from 59% in 2018, while revenues in the group’s domestic market of Bahrain increased 5% year-on-year, thanks to the performance of its fixed broadband, data communications and mobile services businesses.
Batelco Chairman Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: ‘I am pleased to announce strong financial results which is a result of effective implementation of strategic initiatives, robust operational performance and solid financial discipline.’