Kuwait-based Wataniya Telecom has published its financial results for the three months ended 31 March 2014, reporting marginal 0.8% year-on-year growth in its consolidated revenues, which increased to KWD182.7 million (USD649.95 million) from KWD181.3 million in 1Q13. The company’s net profit also increased, to KWD19.8 million in the period under review, a 1.8% improvement on the KWD19.5 million reported in the corresponding period of 2013. Wataniya’s EBITDA, however, decreased by 5.6% y-o-y to KWD66.8 million.
In operational terms, Wataniya reported that its consolidated customer base reached 20.4 million at end-March 2014, corresponding to an annual increase of 5.0%. In its domestic market, Wataniya’s subscribers increased by 12.1% to 2.22 million, with the positive development attributed to the launch of 4G mobile services. Elsewhere, the company experienced healthy growth across its operational footprint; Tunisian subscribers increased by 2.0% y-o-y to 7.39 million, while Algerian cellco Ooredoo (Nedjma) contributed around 9.93 million users to the group’s total. Meanwhile, in Palestine, Wataniya saw its customer base increase by 4.7% y-o-y to 650,000 by 31 March, while in the Maldives the company notched up a total of 260,000 subscribers, corresponding to annual growth of 37.4%.
Wataniya Telecom’s chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani commented: ‘The first quarter generated not only a broadly positive start to the year for Wataniya Telecom but also provided further evidence of the success of our strategic initiatives across its businesses. Ooredoo Algeria continues to capture market share, driving revenue and profit growth. Despite the continued challenging market conditions of Tunisia, Ooredoo Tunisiana has delivered solid quarterly performance. Wataniya Kuwait is delivering against its recovery strategy, capturing back market share as the business targets a return to revenue growth, having invested in developing the country’s leading broadband network. Our markets continue to be highly competitive but we are making good progress in executing our long-term growth strategy.’