Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C Board of Directors announced the company’s financial and operational results for 2004. MTC is the leading wireless services operator in Kuwait and Jordan as well as one of the leading regional operators also serving customers in Bahrain, Iraq, and Lebanon.
The group’s operating companies’ ended 2004 providing wireless services to 3.192 million active customers. The financial statements presented by the Board of Directors show that MTC has recorded 2004 consolidated revenues of KD 322.33 million.
The MTC group of companies has posted an EBITDA of KD 175.27 million maintaining an EBITDA margin of 54.4%. MTC’s consolidated net income for the year ended 2004 was KD 120.24 million translating to Earnings per Share of 237 Fils.
Mr. Ahmed Al-Nassar, MTC Chairman of the Board and Managing Director said: “On behalf of the MTC Board of Directors and myself, I would like to thank all our customers for selecting the MTC group as their wireless service provider. The products and services that MTC offers have become an integral part of life and we have maintained our commitment to provide the highest quality of service, the best technology, and the most attractive financial proposition to all our stakeholders. In an era of increasing competition, the company has simultaneously expanded its operations and improved its bottom line performance. MTC has posted earnings of 237 Fils per share for the year 2004 an increase of 18% compared to last year and that represents an increase in Shareholders' equity from KD 336 million to KD 389 million or a 16% increase this year. The Board of Directors has called for the general assembly meeting of shareholders to take place in mid March, 2005. The Board has recommended a distribution of 160% (160 Fils per share) and a 7% share bonus subject to general assembly and statutory approvals”.
In Kuwait, the total number of subscribers for MTC Vodafone reached 1.262 million at December 31, 2004. This is an increase of 29.42% during the year. MTC Vodafone has an estimated 60% market share while the penetration rate of mobile customers in Kuwait is approaching 85% of the total population. Postpaid customers account for 26.4% of our total customers. Blended ARPU for 2004 was USD 48.
In Jordan, MTC's operating subsidiary PELLA (Fastlink) maintained its market leadership position by all financial and operating measures. Fastlink maintained an estimated 71% market share with 1.14 million customers posting an increase of 22.6% over last year. Total revenues increased by 17% when compared to 2003. Net profit improved during 2004 by 34% over last year reflecting the implementation of better management systems and efficiencies.
During 2004, MTC Vodafone Bahrain has increased its active customer base by over 100,000 new customers. MTC Vodafone Bahrain had a 16% market share at the end of 2004. The company has deployed the latest 3G technology. Bahrain is the first country in the world to have national 3G coverage as a result of MTC Vodafone Bahrain’s network. The company has established itself as an integral part of the Bahrain society. The company’s proactive posture with the local community such as participation in the drive to provide University of Bahrain students access to laptop computers with wireless 3G access, is one of the main drivers in reaching the milestone of 100,000 active customers well ahead of budget and target.
In Iraq, MTC Atheer has been in operation for 10 months. As of December 31st, 2004 Atheer's total active customers reached 244,338 an increase of 71% over September 30, 2004. Prepaid customers account for 99% of the customer base. Atheer’s management and employees are challenged to meet the demand for service and they will be well positioned to take advantage of the opportunity to expand beyond the Southern region of Iraq. The company plans to expand the area it serves by providing service to the Central region of Iraq. This will force the company to accelerate network rollout increasing both capacity and coverage in order to accommodate more customers. Atheer’s management and shareholders have adopted a policy of employing 100% Iraqi nationals in Iraq to strengthen the bonds between the company and the community it serves. The company is also committed to a very ambitious capital expenditure plan during 2005 in order to meet its goal of 1 million customers.
In Lebanon, the most recent addition to the MTC Group is MTC Touch. The company has been in operation for 7 months. As of December 31st, 2004 the total number of customers served by the network has reached 441,211 representing a 4% increase over September 30th, 2004. The 48 month management contract awarded to MTC by the Lebanese government has allowed the MTC Group to expand its regional presence while enhancing and maximizing all stakeholders' interests and returns. MTC has introduced a new brand for the Lebanese network it operates. MTC Touch is the newest addition to the portfolio of Brands under the MTC umbrella.