Kuwait's Wataniya reverses profit decline

Gulf state's second largest telco reports 20% rise in Q2 net profit, beats analysts' forecasts

Wataniya, Kuwait's second-biggest telecoms operator, reported a 20 percent rise in second-quarter profit on Thursday, beating analysts' estimates and ending its earnings decline.

The subsidiary of Ooredoo (Qatar Telecom) had reported falling profits in the preceding six quarters. In March it appointed Abdulaziz Fakhroo as chief executive, its third CEO in less than a year.

Wataniya made a net profit of KD22.91m ($80.4m) in the three months to June 30, up from KD19.08m in the same period a year ago, a statement to the stock exchange showed. It did not give further earnings details.

Two analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast Wataniya would make a quarterly profit of KD20.78m.

In Kuwait, Wataniya competes with Zain and Viva, an affiliate of Saudi Telecom Co, while it also has operations in Algeria, Tunisia, the Maldives, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Territories.

In October, Qtel, as Ooredoo was known before rebranding, paid $1.8bn to raise its stake in Wataniya to 92.1 percent from 52.5 percent.

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