Batelco reports 40% rise in profits in Q3

Improved results due to cost cutting program and growth in business outside Bahrain
Batelco saw a 40% rise in profits in Q3, having reported declining profits in 17 of the previous 20 quarters.
Batelco saw a 40% rise in profits in Q3, having reported declining profits in 17 of the previous 20 quarters.

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Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) posted a 40% rise in third-quarter net profit, which it attributed to improved performance in some of its foreign units and a group-wide cost-cutting programme.

Batelco made a net profit of BD15.99 million ($42.44 million) in the three months to 30th September, up from BD11.45 million in the same period last year. Batelco's third-quarter revenue was BD97.4 million. This compares with BD100.5 million a year ago.

One analyst polled by Reuters forecast Batelco would make a quarterly profit of BD13 million.

Batelco attributed the profit rise to "strong contributions from the group's international operations and the success of cost reductions programmes across the Group, particularly in Bahrain".

Domestically, Batelco competes with units of Kuwait's Zain and Saudi Telecom Co as well as about 10 internet providers.

Batelco, seeking to offset declining domestic profit and revenue, in April 2013 completed the $570 million purchase of Cable & Wireless Communications' Monaco and Islands Division, although some of this deal subsequently fell foul of regulators.

Batelco also owns Jordanian telecoms operator Umniah, 27% of Yemeni mobile operator Sabafon, minority stakes in internet providers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and is also active in Egypt.

In April, Batelco hired Alan Whelan as chief executive, nearly 11 months after former CEO Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa al-Khalifa quit.

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