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Wed 24 Oct 2007 12:23 PM

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Batelco tops forecast with 11.8% profit growth

Bahraini operator posts net income of $68.74mn in Q3, up from $61.5mn in year earlier period.

Bahraini operator Batelco posted an 11.8% rise in third-quarter net profit, beating an analyst's forecast, as revenue grew.

The company made 25.91 million dinars ($68.74 million), or 21.6 fils per share, in the three months to September 30, compared with 23.18 million dinars, or 19.3 fils per share, in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement on the bourse website.

The quarterly earnings exceeded the 24.5 million dinar forecast of SICO investment bank in a Reuters net profit survey last month.

Revenues grew 20.4% in the quarter to 76.8 million dinars, Batelco said. Its share of profit from associates was 534,000 dinars, compared with nothing a year earlier.

A Batelco-led consortium was one of three bidders granted initial approval in April to operate a fixed-line network in Saudi Arabia. In March, the firm bought a 20% stake in Yemeni mobile phone operator SabaFon.

The company once enjoyed a monopoly in Bahrain, before the telecoms sector was liberalised in 2004.

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