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Batelco registers net profit of $35.5 million.

MANAMA: Batelco Group yesterday reported consolidated net profit of BD13.4 million ($35.5m) for the three months ended March 31.

The results were announced yesterday following a meeting of the board of directors.

The profit is down 17pc year-on-year, when compared with BD16.1m for the corresponding period last year.

Gross revenues stood at BD71m for the period, down 9pc from BD78m year-on-year.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation for the period was BD21.9m, representing a 31pc margin, versus EBITDA of BD28.3m, for the corresponding period last year.

The decrease in profitability was mainly attributable to competitive pressures continuing in Bahrain.

In line with ongoing efforts to diversify revenues and maximise investments, the group saw a greater contribution from overseas markets.

At the end of the period, 42pc of revenues and 39pc of EBITDA were generated from operations outside Bahrain.

The company expects this to be bolstered in the future following the recent acquisition of a number of Cable & Wireless Communications' companies.

The transaction has seen the addition of 10 new markets which will further diversify the revenue base and contributions to the bottom line during the remainder of this year and beyond.

The group's balance sheet remained strong. As of March 31, there were significant net cash balances totalling BD75.9m despite the dividend payment during the period.

Earnings per share for the period were 8.5 fils.

"Results for the period reflect the intensity of the competitive situation in our home market and the need to accelerate the restructuring programme to reduce our operating costs," chairman Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said.

"Our overseas operations delivered steady performance and sound results.

In line with guidance, and despite robust competition in all Middle East and North Africa markets, we delivered reasonable profits although revenues recorded a decline," he added.

"Also impacting performance were costs relating to our ongoing efforts to enhance competitiveness.

"We are focused on preserving margins and strengthening cash flows and the bottom line," he said.

Group chief executive Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said the board and management were pleased with the progress in streamlining business and achieving growth both organically and through the completion of the acquisition.

"We grew our subscribers to 7.9m across six existing markets, a rise of 15pc year-on-year and 1pc since the start of the year," he added.

"This reflected continued growth in mobile and broadband across key overseas markets.

"We've also continued to enhance our competitiveness in Bahrain where, despite tough competition, we are focused on the retention of high value customers and maintaining market leadership," he said.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:May 14, 2013
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