Qtel Q1 revenue increases 16.5 percent to reach QAR 7.5 billion

Press release
Published May 1st, 2011 - 06:33 GMT
Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer of the Qtel Group
Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer of the Qtel Group

Qatar Telecom announced continued strong revenue and profit momentum during the first quarter ended 31 March 2011, fuelled by the ongoing good performance of its international operational portfolio.

In the first quarter ended 31 March 2011, the Group continued to make positive progress, benefiting from its diverse and complementary portfolio of operations and remaining focused on delivering best-of-breed services, particularly in those regions where market dynamics remain competitive.  This focus enabled the Group to deliver further revenue and profit momentum in the first quarter, with Group revenue increasing by 16.5 percent to end the period at QAR 7.5 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 6.4 billion). 

As of March 31, 2011 the Group’s consolidated customer base stood at 75.6 million (Q1 2010: 66.4 million), representing growth in customer numbers of 13.9 percent. The Group’s EBITDA for the same period increased 17 percent to QAR 3.6 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 3.0 billion).  EBITDA margin remained robust throughout the period at 48 percent (Q1 2010: 47 percent). 

Net profit attributable to Qtel Shareholders increased by 15.7 percent when normalized for a one-off favourable decision on the royalty regime in Qatar in 2010 of QAR 554 million. Q1 2011 Net profit attributable to Qtel Shareholders stood at QAR 0.8 billion  (Q1 2010: 1.2 billion).

Commenting on the results, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of the Qtel Group said: 

“We are pleased with the operational performance of the group with normalized Net Profit Attributable to Qtel shareholders increasing 15.7 percent year on year. We have started this new year with the same energy and commitment with which we ended the last.  The broad-based strengths of our international group remain evident and it is these strengths that have helped us to deliver a further quarter of strong growth in the first three months of 2011.”     

At a Group level, Qtel invested in assets and innovations designed to maintain market leadership, with one of these ways being through new strategic partnerships. During the quarter, the Qtel Group announced new partnership agreements paving the way for new innovations in social media, consumer broadband and entertainment. 

Also commenting on the results, Dr. Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer of the Qtel Group said: “Thanks to our ability to move quickly when attractive opportunities arise, we are well positioned to capture the high growth offered by emerging economies. With an emphasis on efficiencies, our mature markets have delivered good returns; our operations in competitive markets continue to efficiently manage the increasing competition; and our emerging markets remain rich in opportunity, both for customer growth and service innovation. We are enhancing our capabilities in a number of key service areas for the future, including digital services and social media, to ensure that we continue to meet the requirements of our valued customers today and in the future.”  

The Group’s operational performance can be summarized as follows: 

Qtel – Qatar 

In Qatar, Qtel produced a successful quarter driven by robust results in the consumer sector and a number of key agreements with significant corporate clients. The enhanced strategic focus on the mobile broadband and entertainment segments are also opening new market opportunities and delivering positive returns. 

Qtel’s ongoing programme of investment in Qatar’s communications infrastructure saw a number of important milestones in the first quarter of 2011. The major upgrade and expansion process for the Qtel Data Centre, which began at the start of 2010, was completed, increasing capacity by 300 percent, with an enhanced range of enterprise services. A number of leading Qatari organisations signed agreements to migrate their core systems to the Qtel Data Centre as a result of this expansion programme. In addition, the trial phase of the Fibre-to-the-Home programme was a success, and more than 510 kilometres of fibre had been laid-out in residential areas by March 2011, positioning the company for the commercial launch. 

The company’s ongoing investment in enhanced systems and processes, as well as prioritising customer satisfaction, enabled Qtel to maintain its customer base to end the quarter with 2.4 million customers (Q1 2010: 2.4 million). Revenue increased by 4.6 percent year-on-year to stand at QAR 1.4 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 1.4 billion).  EBITDA performance during the quarter showed an increase of 8.9 percent year-on-year to QAR 776.2 million (Q1 2010: QAR 712.8 million). 

Indosat – Indonesia 

During the first quarter, Indosat further built upon and realised the benefits of the important changes, good growth and focused execution delivered during full year 2010.  The investments made in developing and supporting the Company’s value strategy have had a positive impact on performance and customer satisfaction, particularly within Indosat’s cellular business. 

As a result, Indosat’s subscriber base continued to advance during the first quarter of 2011, with the base increasing by 20.2 percent during Q1 2011 to end the period at 46.2 million subscribers (Q1 2010: 38.4 million). Indosat’s Q1 2011 revenue performance was strong, with revenue increasing 7.3 percent year-on-year to end the quarter at QAR 2.0 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 1.9 billion).  EBITDA during the period also increased, improving 3.3 percent year-on-year to end Q1 2011 at QAR 1.0 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 0.9 billion).  

Wataniya Telecom 

Wataniya Telecom (“National Mobile Telecommunications Company K.S.C.”) encompasses the Qtel Group’s businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and Palestine.  Wataniya has continued to perform strongly through the first quarter of the year.  Performance in Algeria, in particular, has been very strong with Nedjma further leveraging its solid brand platform in pursuit of targeted, innovative promotional campaigns.  In Kuwait, Wataniya has also maintained a clear growth trajectory, continuing to be effective in driving revenue and defending market share in the face of heightened competition within this market. 

As a result, Wataniya’s customer base has strengthened during the period, increasing 5.6 percent to close Q1 2011 at 16.6 million (Q1 2010: 15.8 million).  Revenue also increased during Q1 2011, advancing 39.2 percent year-on-year to stand at QAR 2.2 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 1.6 billion).  Wataniya also successfully increased EBITDA in the first quarter of the year, delivering a year-on-year EBITDA increase of 62.2 percent to achieve a first quarter EBITDA performance of QAR 960 million (Q1 2010: QAR 592 million). Part of the increase in revenue and EBITDA was due to the 100 percent consolidation of Tunisiana following the increase in the shareholding from 50 percent to 75 percent. 

Nawras – Oman 

Nawras started 2011 as a public company, following its successful IPO in November of 2010.  This IPO process and Nawras’ new position as one of the five largest Omani companies to be listed on the Muscat Securities Market has helped to further enhance Nawras’ already strong brand position and awareness.  During the first quarter Nawras has worked hard to combat heightened competitive pressure in its markets, maintaining a subscriber base of 1.9 million subscribers (Q1 2010: 1.9 million).  Revenue increased during the period to QAR 473.1 million (Q1 2010: QAR  432.1 million) and EBITDA also remained resilient, closing the first quarter at QAR 242.2 million (Q1 2010: QAR 251.2 million). 

Asiacell – Iraq 

Asiacell delivered a very strong performance in full year 2010 and has extended that good progress during the first quarter of 2011.  Subscriber growth, which has been one of the clearest signals of Asiacell’s traction during recent months, has continued with Asiacell’s total subscriber base at the end of Q1 2011 standing at 8.3 million (Q1 2010: 7.7 million): 7.3 percent higher year-on-year.  Revenue also increased year-on-year by 17.0 percent, to end the quarter at QAR 1.4 billion (Q1 2010: QAR 1.2 billion).  Asiacell also succeeded in further enhancing its EBITDA performance, delivering first quarter EBITDA of QAR 778 million (Q1 2010: QAR 683 million): an improvement year-on-year of 13.9 percent.    

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