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Wed 26 Oct 2011 06:03 PM

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Bahrain's Batelco sees 14% fall in nine-month net profit

Telco says nearly a third of operating profit now sourced from markets outside Bahrain

Bahrain's Batelco sees 14% fall in nine-month net profit
Batelco saw net profit fall by 14 percent in the first nine months of 2011

Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) said on Wednesday that net profit for the nine months to the end of September fell 14 percent.

Net income dropped from BD66m ($175.1m) to BD56.5m, according to a company statement, adding that revenues were BD245.5m for the period.

Batelco said its subscriber base had now surpassed 11 million, an increase of eight percent compared to Q2 and 41 percent year-on-year.

It added that continued diversification of group revenues meant 37 percent of revenue and 29 percent of operating profit was now sourced from markets outside Bahrain.

The Bahrain telco said its balance sheet remained strong and the company was "free of debt" with substantial cash and bank balances of BD86.8m.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Batelco chairman, said the company "had continued to deliver solid financial results and operating performance throughout the first nine months of 2011".

He added: "Since the end of Q2, we have added more than 800,000 new subscribers to our customer base, which now exceeds 11 million across the MENA region and India.

"This increase underscores the ongoing growth of our business and the strength of our offering despite a year over year decline in the Group's revenues and profitability."

Batelco's Group CEO, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Isa Al Khalifa, added: "Despite the intensely competitive nature of the market in Bahrain and the challenges that have faced the MENA region throughout the period, we have retained both our market leading position at home whilst also successfully continuing to strengthen our competitiveness and the performance of our subsidiaries both geographically and by segment."

He added that the company would continue to see expansion opportunities overseas.

"Acquisitions of mobile and broadband operators in MENA and India are important strategic growth drivers which would allow Batelco Group to grow and diversify its revenues and gain synergies across an increased customer base," he said.

"Similarly, acquisitions and partnerships with other operators to grow our scale and investments in ICT related opportunities are also important priorities for the Batelco Group."

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