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Sun 14 Aug 2011 05:09 PM

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Qatar Telecom's profit rises 18% in second quarter

Strong show from subsidiaries in Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia helps telco post $184.8m Q2 net profit

Qatar Telecom's profit rises 18% in second quarter

Qatar Telecom (Qtel), the Gulf state's biggest telecom operator, said its second-quarter net profit rose 18 percent helped by positive subscriber growth at its subsidiaries abroad.

The company reported a second-quarter profit of QR673m ($184.8m), compared with QR571m a year ago, it said in a statement on Sunday.

Two analysts polled by Reuters forecast second-quarter net profit of QR673.3m and QR773.4m respectively.

"[We saw] impressive performance from the Wataniya Group portfolio with Kuwait and Algeria delivering particularly strong growth, while Tunisia demonstrated robust performance in the mobile segment despite a challenging environment," Qtel said in a statement.

Wataniya's consolidated customer base increased 6.8 percent in the first half of the year, while Indonesian affiliate Indosat's subscriber base increased 23.7 percent during the period, Qtel said.

Consolidated revenue for the quarter also rose 18 percent to 7.99 billion riyals compared with QR6.77bn for the year-ago period.

Qtel, which operates in 17 countries, has expanded rapidly abroad to mitigate the loss of its monopoly after Vodafone Qatar , a unit of Britain's Vodafone entered the Gulf Arab state's market.

In 2008, it bought a 40.8 percent stake in Indosat, Indonesia's second-biggest mobile telephone company, later raising its holding to 65 percent in a bid to tap growth potential in the world's most populous Muslim country.

Qtel shares closed 0.7 percent lower on the Qatar bourse Sunday prior to the results.

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