Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel), the Sultanate’s incumbent telecoms operator, has reported turnover of OMR239.3 million (USD619.8 million) for the first half of 2013, an increase of 2.1% from OMR234.5 million in the year-ago period, thanks to strong domestic retail and wholesale businesses revenues. Net profit totalled OMR60.5 million for the six months ended 30 June 2013, down 2.4% from OMR61.99 million in H1 2012. The company attributed the fall in net income to the expansion of its 3.5G, 4G LTE and fixed next generation networks, which put pressure on operation and maintenance, and depreciation expenses. Operating expenses increased 4.9% year-on-year to OMR175.2 million in the first half of 2013, mainly due to an increase in external administration expenses to OMR10.1 million, on account of increased international direct/transit traffic, while employee-related costs also rose. Total Omantel subscribers (including Pakistani subsidiary Worldcall Telecommunications) reached 3.953 million at the end of June 2013, an increase of 6.6% from 3.707 million a year earlier. The firm’s domestic subscriber base increased 9.3% year-on-year to 3.026 million, with growth mainly driven by its mobile business.
Commenting on the results, Omantel’s CEO Dr. Amer Awadh Al Rawas said: ‘Omantel has continued to see a steady growth despite the decline of revenue from some services, thanks to the growth of mobile and fixed broadband services which offset the decline witnessed in other services revenues such as SMS. We are delighted with the results the Company achieved during the first half of 2013 that have seen our subscriber base growing despite the increased domestic competition as well as challenging conditions in the Pakistani market. Omantel continued to invest in improving the quality of its services and expand the reach of its network… These major investments along with the dedicated efforts and contribution of our dedicated people have enabled us to increase our domestic customer-base by 9.3% year-on-year.’