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Wed 18 Mar 2015 03:59 PM

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Bahrain's Batelco approves $110m cash dividend

Shareholders of telecom operator raise full-year cash dividend to 25 fils per share for 2014

Bahrain's Batelco approves $110m cash dividend
Batelco chairman Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa. (For illustrative purposes only)

Bahrain-based telecom operator Batelco on Wednesday approved the distribution of a full-year cash dividend of 25 fils per share for 2014, an increase on the previous year.

The company's AGM saw shareholders approve the recommendation for the BD41.58 million ($110.29 million) dividend, of which 10 fils per share has already been paid during the third quarter of 2014 with the remaining 15 fils to be paid this month.

Batelco chairman Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said: "We are pleased to continue to build and return value to our shareholders as demonstrated by the dividend payment, and the progress made throughout the past year in achieving growth and diversification of the Group.

"2014 was marked by strong cash generation and growing customer numbers across the Group, with the total subscriber base now standing at over 9.5 million across the 14 geographies of the operation, representing six percent growth year on year."

He added: "We will continue during 2015 to deliver the best value for shareholders... We have entered 2015 in a strong financial position; our growth over 2014 positions us as one of the most important organisations in Bahrain and gives us a stable platform to work from."

Last month, Batelco reported a 22 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, thanks to cost cuts and a boost to the bottom line at its domestic and some foreign operations.

The former monopoly, which operates in 14 territories, has now posted rising profits in four of the six quarters since its $570 million acquisition of the islands division of Cable & Wireless.

Before that deal, its biggest ever, Batelco's profit fell in 16 of 17 quarters to the three months ending June 30, 2013.

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