Kuwait-based Wataniya Telecom has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 December 2013, reporting 1.5% year-on-year growth in its consolidated revenues, which increased to KWD181.0 million (USD642.53 million) from KWD178.4 million in 4Q12. The company’s net profit also increased, to KWD18.4 million in the period under review, a 45.9% improvement on the KWD12.6 million reported in 4Q12. Wataniya’s EBITDA, however, decreased by 2.9% y-o-y to KWD65.9 million.
In operational terms, Wataniya reported that its consolidated customer base reached 19.9 million at end-December 2013, corresponding to an annual increase of 3.7%. In its domestic market, Wataniya’s subscribers decreased by 3.0% to 1.97 million, with the slow progress attributed to the delays in the nationwide delivery of advanced mobile broadband infrastructure and significant competitive intensity due to the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP). Elsewhere, the company experienced healthy growth across its operational footprint; Tunisian subscribers increased by 3.2% y-o-y to 7.4 million, while Algerian cellco Ooredoo (Nedjma) contributed around 450,000 new users to the group’s total. Meanwhile, in Palestine, Wataniya saw its customer base increase by 4.6% y-o-y to 640,000 by 31 December, while in the Maldives the company notched up a total of 250,000 subscribers, corresponding to annual growth of 41.5%.
Wataniya Telecom’s chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani commented: ‘We have continued to make appropriate investment into our assets to reflect the differing economic and market cycles across the group’s operational footprint. Our investment has meant that despite the challenges faced [in] markets such as Kuwait and Tunisia, the group’s revenue increased marginally for the year, EBITDA levels were broadly maintained and net profit increased compared to 2012. 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.’