Omantel sees Q1 net profit fall on higher costs

Omani telco posts 2.5% fall in net profit despite 3.1% increase in first quarter revenue

Oman Telecommunications Company, also known as Omantel, on Wednesday said its net profit for the first quarter of 2013 fell 2.5 percent despite a rise in revenue.

The telco said in a statement that revenue increased 3.1 percent to OR114.5m ($297.3m) while net profit fell from OR29.9m in Q1 2012 to OR29.1m.

It added that the decline in net profit was mainly attributed to the expansion of both 3.5G and 4G LTE network "which put pressure on both operation and maintenance and depreciation expenses".

Omantel said its total subscriber base grew by 7 percent to 3.883 million as of March 31 compared to 3.627 million in the corresponding period of 2012.

Total operating expenses increased by 5.4 percent in Q1 to RO83.9 due to an increase in external administration expenses, Omantel said, adding that it had decided to absorb the bulk of these costs without passing them on to its subscribers.

Omantel's CEO, Dr Amer Awadh Al Rawas, said: "We are proud to see our company making a good growth despite the challenging market conditions and increased competition in the domestic market.

"As we are continuously working on providing our customers enhanced customer experience, Omantel made huge investments to expand the reach of its network and roll out the new state-of-the-art network and the second carrier on 3.5G network following the allocation of available spectrum by Telecom Regulatory Authority.

"We are glad to see the fruits of having a strategy and operating model that is customer-centric. In fact our domestic market share has been increasing year on year despite the intensive competition and the entry of second operator in the fixed line services."

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