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A photo from the Wataniya Telecom AGM.
Wataniya Telecom records KD 731.1m revenue in 2013 AGM approves distribution of 125 fils cash dividend

KUWAIT CITY, March 25: Wataniya Telecom Group (National Mobile Telecom-munications Company) announced KD 731.1 million revenue for the year 2013, noting a 0.9% rise from KD 724.4 million of 2012; net profit amounted to KD 76.1 million with earnings per share of 152 fils. EBITDA for the year 2013 was KD 281.3 million compared to EBITDA of 300.5 million for the same period in 2012, marking a 6.4 percent reduction. The total customer base grew by 3.7% in 2013 and stood at 19.9 million. Total assets stood at KD 1,641 million and total equity amounting to KD 932.4 million while total liabilities added up to KD 708.9 million. At the Annual General Meeting held at the head office, Tuesday afternoon, the proposed recommendation to distribute cash dividends to the shareholders valued at 125% of the nominal value share, which is equivalent to 125 fils, was approved.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chariman of Wataniya Telecom said, “2013 has been a year of challenge and opportunity for the group. We have continued to make appropriate investment into our assets to reflect the differing economic and market cycles across the group’s operational footprint.” He noted that the increase in group profit comes despite the competitive condition of the Kuwaiti market and difficult economic situation in the Tunisian operation.  Wataniya Kuwait’s customer base stands at 1.97 million with a 3 % decrease from 2012. Revenues from the Kuwaiti market for the year 2013 were KD 194.9 million, revealing a 11.7% fall when compared to KD 220.8 million in 2012. EBITDA was KD 52 million, decreasing 38.4% from KD 84.4 million of the previous year.


Wataniya Kuwait’s net profit amounted to KD 14.8 million witnessing a steep drop from KD 46.4 million in 2012. Officials relayed that delays in the nationwide delivery of advanced mobile broadband infrastructure and significant competitive intensity due to the introduction of mobile number portability had contributed to lower revenues and customers for 2013. It was also announced that Wataniya Kuwait had completed its network modernization at a cost of USD 400 million, introducing single RAN technology and upgrading its mobile backhauling to native IP.  Al Thani also responded to concerns about cross platform mobile messaging and and VoIP applications draining revenue from traditional telecom sources. He stated that there was no magic answer to the problem as there were opposing mentalities at play that hamper reaching mutual ground. The company was looking to initiate change in the future with fresh ideas to tackle the issue in order to preserve and secure revenue and profits. For this, legal and technical procedures were being sought.

Profit
Wataniya’s Tunisian customer base at the end of 2013 stood at 7.4 million customers scaling 3.2% higher than the previous year, revenues contracted by 3.3 % to KD 195.2 million and net profit took a 20% dive down to KD 37.4 million.  2013’s consolidated net profit includes additional tax of KD 4.7 million pertaining to previous five years, which was formally received after the Wataniya Telecom completed its 2012 financial report. As such, the net attributable profit to Wataniya Telecom for the year 2013 was KD 28 million in 2013. The Algerian customer base expanded by 4.8% to 9.5 million customers, revenues for the year 2013 were KD 302.7 million, climbing 13.4% higher than the previous year and the total net profit leaped to KD 57.2 million from KD 27.6 million of the previous year. Wataniya Palestine recorded a 4.6% increase in customer base, a 7.8% hike in revenue amounting to KD 25.3 million, witnessing the net attributable loss reduced from KD 3.2 million in 2012 to KD 2.9 million in 2013. Wataniya Maldives reached a 0.25 million customer base, noting a 41.5% increase from the previous year. Revenues for the year 2013 were KD12.9 million and the net attributable loss to Wataniya Telecom stood at KD 2 million.
Al Thani added, “As the operator with the widest 3G network in Algeria, we will continue to pursue our early mover advantage in delivering Mobile Broadband to our Algerian customers. We have a clear strategy to achieve future growth in the highly competitive Kuwaiti market and we will continue to build on our growth in Tunisia, Palestine, and the Maldives.”

By Cinatra Fernandes
Arab Times Staff



 

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