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TMCNet:  Batelco reports net profit of BD24.9m for H1 [24X7 News Bahrain Online]

[July 26, 2014]

Batelco reports net profit of BD24.9m for H1 [24X7 News Bahrain Online]

(24X7 News Bahrain Online Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MANAMA: Batelco Group on Friday reported net profit of BD24.9million (US$66m) versus BD25.3million (US$67.1m) for the corresponding period in 2013, a slight decrease of 1% year over year and a 28% decrease since last quarter.Batelco, the international telecommunications company with operations across 14 countries, said that the profits for the period were impacted by continued competition in core markets and one-off adjustments.EBITDA for the period was BD71.9M (US$190.7M), representing a healthy margin of 37%, compared to EBITDA of BD56.6M (US$150.1M) for the corresponding period in 2013, a 27% increase year over year and a 11% decrease quarter on quarter.The Group's Gross Revenue for the period, which stood at BD194.6M (US$516.2M) was up 14% from BD170.7M (US$452.8M) year over year and 1% decrease quarter over quarter. Operating Profit for the period was BD39.1M (US$103.7M) versus BD30.9M (US$82.0M) for the corresponding period in 2013 reflecting a 27% improvement year over year and a 20% decrease over the first quarter of 2014.The positive impact of Batelco's overseas operations, particularly in Dhiraagu Maldives and Sure Channel Islands and Isle of Man, continues to boost the Group's bottom line. At the end of the six month period, 57% of Revenues and 54% of EBITDA were attributable to operations outside of Bahrain.This is compared with 51% of Revenues and 48% of EBITDA in the first half of 2013 and 57% of revenues and 54% of EBITDA during the first quarter of 2014.The Group's balance sheet remained strong; as of 30 June 2014 net assets were BD584.8 (US$1,551.2) with substantial cash balances of BD121.9M (US$323.3M). Earnings per share were 15.0 fils and the Board of Directors approved an interim cash dividend for shareholders of 10 fils per share for the six month period.Commenting on the results for the first six months of 2014 following the meeting of the Board of Directors, Batelco Chairman, Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said that the Batelco Group is pleased with the advances it has made which have supported the increase in revenues and operating profit over the first half of 2013."The Group's diversification and expansion continues to positively boost revenues and subscriber numbers. It is now one year since we included our Island Portfolio contribution, reported for the first time in the 2013 Q2 results. Over half of our revenues and profits are now generated from outside of our home market, which meets our expectations and aims to offset the impact of ongoing and aggressive competition at home," Shaikh Hamad said."We will remain focussed on our efforts to pool Group resources, technologies and expertise wherever possible as this has directly enhanced our competitiveness and performance across our markets of operation."Batelco Group Chief Executive Alan Whelan commenting on the operational highlights said that the Group's good progress during the first half of the year was in line with expectations and the result of tremendous efforts by the Group's management and staff.The Group's subscriber base stands at 9 million customers, a rise of 4% year on year. This reflects impressive gains made over the past year in the key markets of Bahrain and Jordan as well as across the majority of the Group's subsidiaries and affiliates. Year on year, the Broadband customer base has increased by 7% to reach around 287,000 customers, which represents a 1% increase since the previous quarter. Mobile subscriber numbers grew by 5% year-over-year and now stands at 8.5 million. Fixed line subscribers numbers remained flat since Q1 and showed a small decline of 3% year-over-year as demand across most of Batelco's markets reduces due to the growing preference for mobile services.


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