Wataniya Telecom, the leading Kuwait GSM mobile operator, a regional operator and member of Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO), has announced net profit of KD 21.03 million (US$ 71.0 million), or 52.2 fils (17.6 cents) per share for the first half of 2004, an increase of 39 per cent compared to KD 15.17 million (US$ 51.2 million), or 40.2 fils (13.6 cents) per share earned in the same period of 2003.
An increase of 12,766 Kuwait customers in the second quarter of 2004 saw Wataniya close the first half of the year with 817,180 active customers in Kuwait, maintaining an estimated 50 per cent market share.
“Our customer base has increased by 1.6 per cent over the first quarter of 2004, which can be attributed to the company’s on-going development of new, value added services that give customers a diverse range of compelling services to bring rich content to mobile phones,” said Wataniya chairman and KIPCO managing director & CEO Faisal Al Ayyar.
“Market penetration in Kuwait today has reached 75 per cent, and Wataniya’s market leadership continues to enhance this growth,” he said.
Wataniya has also delivered strong regional growth, winning licences in 2003 to operate networks in Iraq and Algeria alongside the existing Tunisia operation.
“Wataniya expanded tremendously in 2003 with three new operations in Tunisia, Iraq and Algeria,” said Mr. Al Ayyar. “We are currently working on consolidating our strength in these markets and to efficiently leverage our resources to ensure that all these markets continue to gain in momentum and success.
“Today, Wataniya’s networks are serving over 1.7 million customers across the region, a milestone we are proud of having achieved after only five years in the market.” He added: “The services offered by Wataniya are driving the region’s telecommunication market, and changing the industry focus from ‘line-selling’, to growth of ARPU (Average Revenue per User). Our strategy is and will continue to be to expand our existing operations, and keep a close eye on emerging market opportunities.”
Revenues for the second quarter of 2004 were KD 35.13 million (US$118.6 million), compared to KD 35.11 million (US$ 118.5 million) for the first quarter, an increase of 0.06 per cent. EBITDA for the second quarter of 2004 was KD 15.7 million (US$ 53.0 million), compared to KD 16.0 million (US$ 54.0 million) for the 1st quarter, a slight decrease of 1.9 per cent.
Post-tax Profit for the second quarter of 2004 was KD 11.1 million (US$ 37.5 million), an increase of 8 per cent, compared to KD 10.3 million (US$ 34.8 million) for the first quarter.
Strong demand in Kuwait continued throughout the first six months of the year, with the Company increasing its customer base by 30,568 to close the first half with 817,180, active customers and maintain an estimated 52 per cent share of the Kuwait mobile phone market. This reflects an increase of 4 per cent over the year-end 2003 customer base of 786,612. Monthly churn decreased to 2.8 per cent in Q2 from 2.9 per cent in the first quarter. Roaming coverage increased to 250 operators in 107 countries. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )