Batelco Group has ended the nine-month period (till 30 September 2017) with gross revenues of BD277.6 million ($736.3million) (+2% YoY). Operations in Bahrain, Umniah in Jordan and Dhiraagu in the Maldives reported improvements in revenues. Subscriber base grew to over 9.6 million, showing an increase of 7% YoY.
The Group ended the nine month period with net profit of BD25.2 million ($66.8 million), a 22% decline YoY and QoQ decline of 43% compared to Q2 2017. Profits are being said to have been mainly impacted by the lower EBITDA due to restructuring and the share of loss from the Group’s investment in Sabafon, Yemen due to the ongoing political unrest.
EBITDA for the period was BD91.2 million ($241.9 million), a 13% decline YoY, 14% decline QoQ and 20% QoQ decline over Q3 2016. The Group attributes the drop in EBITDA mainly to restructuring costs incurred in Q3 2017. EBITDA margin stood at 33%.
Batelco Chairman Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that Batelco’s operations are evolving and transforming to meet the challenges of the communications industry and to cope with the competitive environments throughout the Group’s locations.
Batelco Group chief executive Ihab Hinnawi said that the Group is pleased to report that gross revenues are up year-on-year, the first year to show top line improvement in several years, as a result of the company’s investment in fibre and both fixed and mobile LTE.
“We are at the forefront of defining and creating an environment that seeks to bring together the digital and telecommunications worlds and realising that both have unique and complementary strengths that can be used to address the needs of nations and individual consumers. In doing so, we understand that issues to be solved are not one of corporate culture, technology or of capital alone, but really all of them together, and therefore we have put into place a multi-pronged strategy to address all of these simultaneously,” Hinnawi added.
Q3 saw Umniah launching the first phase of its fibre optic services for individual and enterprise customers. The launch covered a number of key areas in Amman, with infrastructure extending over 70 km and reaching 16,000 households and offices. This was accompanied by the deployment of 700 additional sites nationwide, which will further reinforce Umniah’s network.
In Kuwait, the quarter saw Qualitynet delivering the first successful implementation of visual telebanking in the country.
Batelco Bahrain CEO Mohamed Bubshait said: “The broadband customer base has grown by 34% year over year, while fixed line subscribers are up by 8% and the mobile customer base is up by 23%. We are delighted to see that the initiatives that our teams have worked hard to implement have delivered promising results. It gives us confidence that our products and value added services are meeting our customers’ needs.”
Batelco became an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner earlier in the year and building on that relationship Batelco was recently announced as an AWS Direct Connect partner. This placed Batelco as the first provider from Bahrain to enable customers around the region to connect directly to AWS infrastructure using the service. Batelco is also an AWS authorised channel and public sector reseller.