Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) has recorded a 24% year-on-year plunge in Q3 net profit to lower revenues in its domestic market, while the results also revealed its share of losses from STel, its start-up mobile joint venture in India.
According to Batelco’s chairman Shaikh Hamad Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, net income for the three months ended 30 September 2010 dropped to US$51.1 million, down from US$67.10 million in the corresponding period of 2009.
As per reports, over the first nine months of 2010 Batelco’s total revenues were as US$678.29, with net profit falling 17% year-on-year to US$175.06million. Nine-month operating profit of US$214.31 million represented a 3% decline compared to the same period in 2009.The group’s total number of customers stood at 7.9 million at end-September 2010, including a mobile subscriber base of around 7.5 million, up 53% from 4.9 million a year earlier.
Umniah, Batelco’s 96%-owned subsidiary in Jordan, reached a mobile customer base of 1.8 million, while Sabafon in Yemen, in which the group holds 26.9% equity, reached 3.2 million subscribers.
Saudi venture Etihad Atheeb (15% owned by Batelco, offering services under the GO brand) recorded a total of 92,000 customers, up 5% quarter-on-quarter. Subscriber numbers at STel rose to 1.64 million across its operations in Bihar, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh and the recently launched Assam and North East telecoms circles of India.
Batelco’s mobile customer base in Bahrain down by 4% quarter-on-quarter to 836,000 at the end of September 2010, while broadband users also declined in the quarter to 86,000 customers, representing a 2% drop.
According to the company, loss of profitable market share at home, particularly in the key areas of mobile, broadband and International Direct Dial (IDD), has presented Batelco with tough challenges in the home market … Batelco’s transformation into a lower cost organization is underway.