At the end of March, the Palestine Telecommunications Company, Paltel convened its Ordinary General Assembly in Jericho, Palestine where shareholders approved the Company's management and financial reports. It also decided to distribute cash dividend to shareholders for the year 2009 in the amount of US$0.49 per share amounting to US$64,977,080.
The Company's Chairman of the Board, Mr. Sabih Masri thanked shareholders for their confidence and praised the executive management and Company staff for their relentless efforts to preserve the Company's service and financial leadership in a very strenuous economic and political landscape. "We remain committed to our economic and social development roles in Palestine while maintaining steady growth and rewarding our shareholders with sustained profits", stated Mr. Masri in his address to the quorum. "We will continue to improve efficiency and optimize operations focusing on our core business and relying on outsourcing for non-core services. Our operational indicators demonstrate more promise to enhancing our mobile operation, increasing our fixed line subscriber base and forging ahead with added attention to data and broadband communications. That is the future direction of the industry, and our Group is positioned to sail confidently into the new market horizons" added Mr. Masri.
According to 2009 financial statements, consolidated revenue reached a total of US$444.41million, achieving a 5.36% growth compared with 2008. Paltel has achieved a 6.01% growth in its operating profits reaching US$147.19 million compared with US$138.84million in 2008. The Company's net profit reached US$99.21 million. The subscribers' base of the Company grew by 30% to reach 2,263,120 subscribers by the end of 2009 compared with 1,744,433 subscribers as of December 31, 2008. The number of mobile subscribers reached 1.80 million by end of 2009, whereas, fixed line subscribers reached 370,638 and ADSL subscribers reached 92,482 by the end of 2009.
The Board of Directors' recommendation to the General Assembly to distribute a 35% of the shares par value (US$1.41) as cash dividend was approved; committing the Company to distribution of US$64,977,080. The CEO of Paltel Group, Mr. Ammar Aker stated, "The Company has once more responded to demands by shareholders to distribute fair dividends. We are committed to our shareholders, our customers and our employees where we hope to continue to grow and improve our services focusing on core telecom services in an increasingly competitive but promising environment."
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