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Thu 22 Feb 2018 04:13 PM

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Profits at Bahrain's Batelco hit by Yemen, Jordan operations

Impairment losses in two markets see telco's net profit slump by 91% during 2017

Profits at Bahrain's Batelco hit by Yemen, Jordan operations

Batelco, the Bahrain-based telecommunications group with operations across 14 countries, on Thursday announced a 3 percent increase in revenues, reaching BD379.4 million ($1 billion) for the full year of 2017.

Organic gross revenue, which grew for the first time since 2009, was boosted by double-digit growth in broadband and digital services, reporting 16 percent and 13 percent growth respectively, the company said in a statement.

Quarter on quarter gross revenues also reported an 8 percent increase compared to 2016, it added.

Net profit of BD3.5 million represented a 91 percent slump compared to 2016, while Q4 saw a net loss of BD21.7 million, a 518 percent decline. The reduced net profits for the period were mainly impacted by impairment losses related to the Group’s investments in Yemen and Jordan.

Adjusted net profit, excluding impairments and one-off gain on land, was more than BD40 million while Batelco's balance sheet remained robust, with cash in hand of BD158.7 million.

The board of directors recommended a full year cash dividend of BD41.6 million, at a value of 25 fils per share to be agreed at the Group’s Annual General Meeting in March, of which 10 fils per share was already paid during the third quarter of 2017.

Batelco’s chairman, Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, said: “We continue to progress well in order to execute our strategic plan. The business is in great shape, with strong fundamentals, a solid subscriber base and a local market that is outperforming.

"However, some of our international businesses continue to feel the impact of the political and economic instability across the region and we are providing them with all the support necessary to get them through this difficult period.

“Overall, I am pleased to see that our hard work is paying off... I am highly optimistic for the future of Batelco Group as we continue into 2018.”

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