Kuwait's Viva posts six-fold rise in annual profit

Telecom operator says huge increase on back of customer base rising by a third

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Viva Kuwait reported a more than six-fold rise in annual profit on Monday as the mobile telecommunications operator increased its customer base by a third.

The Saudi Telecom Co (STC) affiliate made a net profit of KD24.25 million ($86 million) in 2013, up from KD3.87 million a year earlier, according to its website.

Viva, which competes with Zain and Ooredoo subsidiary Wataniya, said it had 2.15 million mobile customers in 2013, up from 1.62 million subscribers a year earlier.

This increase has boosted its market share to 33 percent from 29 percent, the company said.

Viva, which launched operations in 2008 and turned profitable in 2012, said its annual revenue rose 33 percent to KD182.42 million last year.

STC received KD6.39 million in management fees from Viva in 2013, up from KD4.81 million a year earlier.

STC owns 26 percent of Viva, while Kuwait's government holds 24 percent.

Viva sold the remaining 50 percent in a September 2008 initial public offering that raised KD25 million, but has yet to list on Kuwait's bourse.

In its annual report, Viva said it applied to the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in April 2012 for approval to list onKuwait's bourse, but was still awaiting a response.

The CMA could not be immediately reached for comment.

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