Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) has reported its financial performance for the first six months of 2012. The group reported consolidated net profit of BHD34.6 million (USD91.8 million) in January-June 2012, a decrease of 11% from BHD38.8 million in the corresponding period of 2011, while EBITDA fell by 14% year-on-year to BHD55.8 million in the six months. Gross half-year revenue reached BHD155.3 million, but this was down 5% from BHD163.2 million year-over-year. Operating profit was BHD38.5 million versus BHD46.0 million in the year-ago period. Tough competition in Batelco’s mature domestic market was mainly to blame for the declining figures, while the group continued in its efforts to diversify revenues, seeing an increasing contribution from overseas markets; 39% of revenues and 33% of operating profit was attributable to operations outside of Bahrain in the first six months of 2012.
At Jordanian subsidiary Umniah, 3.5G services were launched in mid-June 2012, with 11,000 new customers signed up in two weeks to help bring the company’s total mobile subscriber base to more than 2.3 million at the end of June, up by 1% year-on-year and 2% quarter-over-quarter. Umniah also achieved a 33% y-o-y increase in its WiMAX-based broadband customer base, which grew by 17% since the start of 2012.
Sabafon in Yemen, in which Batelco has a minority shareholding, registered 4% subscriber growth quarter-on-quarter to more than 3.5 million at the end of June 2012, reversing a decline in user numbers reported in the first quarter as a result of revisions to its customer base to exclude non-active SIM cards.
Etihad Atheeb (Saudi Arabia), in which Batelco holds a 15% stake, reported a 15% decline in voice and data services customers to 102,000 at 30 June 2012 when compared to twelve months earlier, and a 9% decrease quarter-on-quarter. However, the company’s revenues increased as a result of the addition of new higher value business customers, in line with Atheeb’s recently announced strategic shift.
Although finding it tough going in Bahrain, Batelco registered 74% year-on-year growth in its wireless broadband subscriber base at mid-2012, and a 44% increase since the start of the year.