Batelco’s half-year net profits up 20 percent
Bahrain’s telecommunication company Batelco posted a semi-annual net profit of 34.21 million Bahraini dinars ($90.74 million), 20 percent higher than last year’s profit of BD28.51 million. Total revenue jumped to BD92.48 million from BD85.24 million last year. Total assets amounted to BD99.85 million at the end of June 2002, down from BD114.94 million at end of December 2001.
In the second quarter of the year alone, Batelco managed to post a 23.4 percent rise in its bottom line earnings at BD19.3 million, despite a limited four percent growth in net turnover and a 10 percent drop in other income.
Batelco reported a total income over the last six months, to 30 June, of BD 91 million—a nine percent increase against the same period last year. Earnings-per-share, on an annualized basis were 68 fils, representing a 19 percent increase on last year. The return on capital employed, on an annualized basis, is 28 percent.
Expenditure for the six-month period was BD45.7 million, against BD42m the year before, and included BD15 million in staff costs and BD13.4 million in operating costs, representing minor reductions on corresponding figures last year.
Bahrain’s appetite for mobile services continues to increase, with the active number of mobile phones now at 350,886. That means 52 percent of the population uses a mobile phone. Mobile usage for the half-year generated gross revenue of BD34.3m, representing 38 percent of the company’s overall gross revenue for the period, and growth against last year’s figure of 31 percent.
Earlier this year, Batelco slashed its mobile phone prices by up to 40 percent on rentals and 26 percent on calls. The company has spent nearly BD60 million since 1995 in mobile improvements, upgrades and expansion, according to a company press release.
The company’s Internet and data portfolio raised gross revenues of BD14.5 million in Bahrain and BD8.2 million throughout its joint ventures in the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Both figures, for the half-year, represented growth of 21 percent and 27 percent respectively.
The total number of Batelco’s home-market Internet customers in June 2002 was 48,381, against 36,669 for June of 2001. Internet use in Bahrain now stands at 22 percent of the population, though Batelco’s direct inet customers account for just five percent. The 22 percent figure includes Internet cafes and schools etc.
Revenue from the fixed network in Bahrain was BD34.1m for the half-year, representing 37 percent of overall income, but showed a 10 percent reduction on last year’s figure. This further illustrates the worldwide trend of moving away from fixed-line telephony to mobile. Income from international calls is spread across fixed-line, mobile, payphones and card services and represents 39 percent of total gross income. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)