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Mon 15 Feb 2016 03:04 PM

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Bahrain's Batelco posts 2.4% rise in Q4 net profit

Competition at home has prompted the state-backed telecoms operator to expand abroad

Bahrain's Batelco posts 2.4% rise in Q4 net profit

Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted a 2.4 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Monday.

Batelco made a profit of 8.6 million dinars ($22.8 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, it said in a statement. This compared with a profit of 8.4 million dinars a year earlier.

SICO Bahrain had forecast Batelco would make a quarterly profit of 13.6 million dinars.

Batelco's board has recommended paying a cash dividend of 15 fils per share for the second half of 2015. When added to its dividend from the first half of last year, this puts the total annual payout in line with that given for 2014.

In Bahrain, Batelco competes with units of Kuwait's Zain and Saudi Telecom Co as well as about 10 Internet providers.

Batelco's 2015 profit was 49.5 million dinars, compared with 2014's profit of 49.3 million dinars.

Competition at home prompted the state-backed operator to expand abroad. It bought most of the islands division of Cable & Wireless in April 2013.

Batelco also owns Jordanian telecommunications operator Umniah - for which it has received non-binding offers for its stake, according to a disclosure last month - plus minority stakes in Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon and companies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

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