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Wed 29 Oct 2014 03:34 PM

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Foreign units help Bahrain's Batelco to 40% Q3 net profit rise

Improved performance for former monopoly which had reported declining profits in 17 of the previous 20 quarters

Foreign units help Bahrain's Batelco to 40% Q3 net profit rise
(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted a 40 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday due to an improved performance in some of its foreign units and a group-wide cost-cutting programme.

The former monopoly, which had reported declining profits in 17 of the previous 20 quarters, made a net profit of BD15.99 million ($42.44 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, up from BD11.45 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement.

One analyst polled by Reuters forecast Batelco would make a quarterly profit of BD13 million.

Batelco attributed the profit rise to "strong contributions from the group's international operations and the success of cost reductions programmes across the Group, particularly in Bahrain".

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

Batelco's third-quarter revenue was BD97.4 million. This compares with BD100.5 million a year ago.

Batelco, seeking to offset declining domestic profit and revenue, in April 2013 completed the $570 million purchase of Cable & Wireless Communications' Monaco and Islands Division, although some of this deal subsequently fell foul of regulators.

Batelco also owns Jordanian telecoms operator Umniah, 27 percent of Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon, minority stakes in internet providers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and is also active in Egypt.

In April, Batelco hired Alan Whelan as chief executive, nearly 11 months after former CEO Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa al-Khalifa quit.

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