Mr. Ammar Aker, the CEO of the Palestine Telecommunications Company, PalTel announced the financial results for the third quarter of 2010 during a brokers meeting held on October 31, 2010 at Paltel Group headquarters in Ramallah. Mr. Aker stated that "the Group continues to achieve financial growth due to new strategies in place while closely working with the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MTIT) to further the development of the telecommunications sector by promoting competition and serving the Palestinian community to provide optimal services for all its customers." Mr. Aker also added that "the restructuring of Paltel Group has allowed our companies to re-focus on core business initiatives and meet the daily challenges of implementing new strategies in respective operations in mobile, fixed and data services. All of this effort has already resulted in a positive impact in terms of growth in subscriber base and the related impact on operational revenue.
Consolidated net operating revenues grew 8.84% to reach US$ 356 million at the end of Q3-2010 compared with US$ 327m at the end of Q3-2009. In regards to the operating revenues of each segment, the company achieved a growth in its Fixed Line, Mobile, Data and IT revenues by 12.50%, 11.42%, 2.15% and 19.14% respectively, while media revenues declined by 35.15%.
The consolidated operating income for the company reached US$ 121 million by the end of Q3-2010 compared with US$ 104m by the end of Q3-2009, a growth of 15.80%. This growth was achieved by an increase in consolidated revenues and in light of the new operating policy of focusing operational efforts on core telecom functions and outsourcing support functions.
The consolidated net income decreased by 9.61% to stand at US$ 92m at the end of Q3-2010 compared with US$ 102m at the end of Q3-2009. This decline is attributable to the investment losses mainly caused from the company's share in VTEL offshore operations. The consolidated net income was also affected by other expenses that increased to reach US$ 10.9m compared with revenues of US$ 7.9m at the end of Q3-2009. This was a result of the final payment made to the Palestinian National Authority according to a financial settlement signed in the third quarter between the two parties.
Current Operating Performance
As of the end of Q3-2010, the number of fixed line subscribers grew by 11.02% to reach 405,947 compared with 365,640 during the same period of last year. Mobile and ADSL subscribers grew by 29.73% and 17.82%, respectively, reaching a customer base of 2.135mn and 102,429 compared with 1.646mn and 86,935 as of the end of Q3-2009.
The company expects to achieve a promising end of year results based on all operational indicators and settlement reduction of non recurring provisions. Due to low penetration rates for all telecom services in the Palestinian market, the company will continue to grow its customer base in Mobile, Fixed Line and Data services while improving customer care for customer retention via offering added value services.