Bahrain's Batelco says H1 profits fall 11%

Telecom operator's subscriber base totals 7m; overseas markets boost performance
Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said competition in Bahrain continues to hit results.
Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said competition in Bahrain continues to hit results.

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Bahrain-based telco Batelco said on Friday its net profit for the first six months of 2012 fell 11% compared to the same period last year as competition in its home market intensified.

The company reported net income of BD34.6m ($91.8m) versus BD38.8m on revenues of BD155.3m.

The telecoms operator added in a statement that its subscriber base stood at seven million across the MENA region.

It said the company was focused on continued diversification of its revenues with 39% now sourced from markets outside Bahrain.

The group's balance sheet remained strong, with debts of BD27.5m and cash and bank balances of BD87.4m.

Batelco chairman, Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, said: "Throughout the first six months of 2012, the Group has been successful in implementing its strategy aimed at maintaining market leadership at home whilst building on our investments in overseas markets.

"Despite the impact of ongoing and intense competition in Bahrain and across the MENA region overall, the Group continued to generate steady cash flows, maintain a very strong balance sheet and, importantly, retain our ability to deliver value to both our customers and our shareholders."

Group CEO, Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, added: "While intense competition naturally continues to impact us in Bahrain, we remain pleased with our ability to maintain market leadership and with the overall retention rates for our mobile, broadband and enterprise customers."

He said the company has seen progress made in a number of key markets especially Jordan and Yemen.

"We ended the period with 7m customers across six markets. We are working to build on this. Further organic growth is expected in our overseas operations during the second half of 2012."

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