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Top VIVA officials at the Annual general meeting
VIVA posts KD 24.2 mn net profit in 2013; EPS 48 fils Customer base increases to over 2 million in past year

KUWAIT CITY, June 8: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, today held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Regency Hotel in Bida’a, Kuwait and approved the company’s audited financial results for the year ended Dec 31, 2013. Adel Al Roumi, Chairman of the Board, said: “2013 have been another milestone year for VIVA on many levels, not least by delivering profitability for the second consecutive year since we began our commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2008, and by expanding our customer base at record speed. “Our performance in 2013 reflected our consistent hard work and dedication in an exceptionally competitive market. During the year we delivered solid performance with revenues of KD 182.4 million, which reflects strong revenue growth of 33%, when compared to the year before.  This has resulted in a net profit of KD 24.2 million, or earnings per share of 48 fils, and compares to net profit of KD 3.9 million in 2012.  These results illustrate our continued upward trend as well as enabling us to achieve positive shareholder equity of KD 9.6 million.

 “These excellent results represent a huge leap in the company’s development, and reflect the many other record breaking achievements VIVA routinely delivered over course of the year.” During the AGM, Al Roumi reconfirmed that the company applied for listing on the Kuwait Stock Exchange from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) on 16 February 2012, and is awaiting the CMA’s response on this. The CMA have requested that VIVA provide the annual financial statements for 2013 approved by the General Assembly in order for them to complete their assessment regarding our application for listing on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, hoping to obtain approval in the near future.

Eng Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Badran, VIVA’s Chief Executive Officer said: “In light of the fierce competition in the telecom sector in Kuwait, we are very pleased with the sustained growth in our customer base. The clearest indicator of our success has been the exceptional growth in our subscriber base, from almost 1.6 million at the end of 2012 to well over two million by the end of 2013.  This means by the end of last year, VIVA had captured 33% of the Kuwait mobile market, which compares to 29% at the end of 2012. This real growth, in a very competitive market, is an indicator of our progress and the success of our customer-centric strategy.  These are record-breaking achievements for a recently established mobile operator, when compared to our regional and international counterparts.

Projects
“During 2013 we maintained our steady development across the whole of the business.  We signed a financing agreement worth USD 270 million with the National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK), to support our expansion projects; we commercially launched our 4G LTE network across Kuwait, enriching customer experience with high speed data networks; and our implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) services, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications, was a further success in 2013. As part of our growth strategy, and in response to the increase in our customer base, we also expanded our commercial presence across Kuwait to 48 outlets by the end of 2013, to be closer to our customers and to meet the growing demand for our products and services.

“Our success was also recognized by our industry peers in 2013 and we won several awards for excellence, including the ‘Best LTE Deployment’ award at the ‘Telecoms World Awards - Middle East’, the world’s leading event for telecom operators;  the ‘Best Wireless Broadband in the SAMENA Region’ from the SAMENA Council, which highlighted our efforts to provide an integrated and complete internet solution; the ‘Best CFO’ and ‘Best Financial Team’ in the Middle East and North Africa at the Annual CFO Strategies Forum MENA Awards; and ‘Best Small Help Desk’ at the Insights Middle East Call Center 2013 Awards, which is the only call-center dedicated professional services organization in the Middle East.”

“A consistently important aspect is investing in our human capital, and our commitment to the government’s Kuwaitization program remains one of the main pillars of our strategy.  As a result of this, 61% of our workforce is now Kuwaiti, which is comparatively high when compared to other major companies in the private sector in Kuwait.” “In addition to our commercial operations, we have a long-standing commitment to supporting the local community. We are consistently involved in many areas in Kuwait’s society, including social, health, sports and education.”

Al-Badran concluded: “I would like to express my appreciation to the whole VIVA family, including all our employees, our business partners, customers and shareholders, who we owe our success in 2013.” Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Qatie, Chief Financial Officer said: “VIVA has exceeded expectations in terms of attracting more customers in 2013, which enhanced the financial performance of the company. This reflected positively on the growth of VIVA’s revenues and profits in less than five years (until the end of 2013) when compared to international counterparts, which is considerably a short time frame in the telecommunications sector and despite of the intense competition and operational challenges.”

Al Qatie added: “VIVA continued in its expansion plans with investments exceeding KD 193 million for the development of its infrastructure and enhancing its operational efficiency; this generated an operating profit over the year, before accounting for all earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of KD 66 million. We will continue our efforts in order to achieve further growth and success in the coming year.” The AGM’s attendance represented 50.07% per cent of the number of ordinary shares of the company. This does not fulfill the quorum for the AGM, in accordance with the Ministry of Commerce’s regulations, which requires the presence of 75% of the company’s shareholders. Accordingly, it has been determined that the Extraordinary General Meeting will be held in two weeks to discuss its agenda.

By Michelle Fe Santiago
Arab Times Staff

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