Batelco’s 1H net profit dips 11% to BD34.6m

Batelco Chairman, Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa
Batelco Group on Friday reported a net profit of BD34.6 million for the six-month period ended 30 June 2012, a decrease of 11% from B 38.8 million for the corresponding period in 2011.

However, the Group, which operates in six countries, sustained its leadership in the Kingdom of Bahrain and strength in overseas MENA markets.

Batelco announced earnings of 24 fils per share and an approved interim cash dividend of 15 fils per share.

“In line with ongoing efforts to diversify revenues and maximise investments, the Group continued to see an increasing contribution from overseas markets. For the first six months of 2012, 39% of revenues and 33% of Operating Profit was attributable to the Group’s operations outside of Bahrain,” the Group in a statement said.

EBITDA for the period was BD55.8 million, representing a healthy 36% margin, compared to EBITDA of BD64.7 million for the corresponding period in 2011.

The Group’s gross revenue for the period, which stood at BD155.3 million, was steady quarter over quarter and down 5% from BD163.2million year over year.
Operating profit for the period was BD38.5million versus BD46 million for the corresponding period in 2011.

The Group’s balance sheet remained very strong. As of 30 June 2012, there was low debt at BD 27.5M (US$ 72.9M) and substantial cash and bank balances of BD 87.4M (US$ 231.8M). Earnings per share were 24 fils and the Board of Directors approved an interim cash dividend for shareholders of 15 fils per share for the six month period.

“We are pleased to report another period of good financial results and operating performance. Throughout the first six months of 2012, the Group has been successful in implementing its strategy aimed at maintaining market leadership at home whilst building on our investments in overseas markets. Despite the impact of ongoing and intense competition in Bahrain and across the MENA region overall, the Group continued to generate steady cash flows, maintain a very strong balance sheet and, importantly, retain our ability to deliver value to both our customers and our shareholders. We are delighted once again to announce a healthy interim dividend for the first half of 2012 of 15 fils per share,” Batelco Chairman, Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, announcing the results following a meeting of the Board of Directors at Batelco Group Headquarters, said.

“We also continue with efforts to build efficient business operations focused on customers and innovation by further expanding the scope of our services and our subscriber base. In all the existing markets we operate in we remain focused on growth and capturing greater synergies,” Shaikh Hamad, added.

“In our home market, Bahrain, we continue to face significant competition from other operators coupled with lack of any significant growth. As a priority, we are implementing various initiatives to improve efficiencies, lower our operating cost structure and be more responsive to our customers with a full service portfolio.”

“For the first six months of 2012, the Group’s operating performance remained steady with progress made in key operations abroad. In Bahrain, market leadership was maintained through an ongoing focus on value, innovation and customer service.

“Throughout the first half of the year, the Group-wide focus was on improving our competitive position through marketing new offers to customers, introducing new services and ensuring we delivered superior quality of service and customer care,” Shaikh Hamad, said.

“While intense competition naturally continues to impact us in Bahrain, we remain pleased with our ability to maintain market leadership and with the overall retention rates for our mobile, broadband and enterprise customers,” Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, said, while commenting on the highlights for the period.

Looking across our regional operations, there was additional progress made in a number of key markets especially Jordan and Yemen. A significant investment was made in Jordan with the launch of the Umniah 3.75G service late in June and strong customer take up of mobile data services is anticipated.”

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