MANAMA: Batelco Group, an international telecommunications group based in Bahrain, ended the first nine months of this year with a net profit of BD32.5 million ($86.2m).
This is a 21 per cent decline compared with the corresponding period in 2015. The third quarter net profit was a decrease of 27pc over the same period last year, the company said.
Batelco has operations across 14 countries.
The net profits were impacted by increased finance costs due to borrowings in the group’s operation in Jordan, one-off items recorded in 2015 and share of loss of the group’s investments, said a statement.
Despite competitive pressure, the group was able to maintain stable revenues and a robust EBITDA margin. For the nine-month period, the gross revenues were down marginally by 2pc year-on-year to BD273m mainly due to competitive pressures in key markets.
Gross revenues declined by 4pc in the third quarter compared with the same period last year and 2pc since the third quarter this year. EBITDA for the period was BD105.2m, a 2pc decline year-on-year.
EBITDA decreased by 8pc in the third quarter this year compared with 2015 and 6pc since the second quarter. Throughout the period, the group was able to continue its successful cost containment programmes resulting in a 3pc year-to-date reduction in expenditure compared with the same period last year.
The group continues to sustain its robust EBITDA margin of 39pc, it said.
Results from operating activities for the period were BD52.8m, reflecting a 7pc decrease year-on-year and a 21pc decrease quarter-to-quarter compared with the third quarter last year.
This decline is attributed to increased depreciation charges for higher capex as a result of significant network expansion throughout the group.
The balance sheet remains strong, it said, reporting net assets of BD548.1m as of 30 September 2016 and a cash balance of BD163.9m.
This includes the impact of the interim dividend (10 fils per share) announced and paid during the quarter. Earnings per share for the period stood at 19.5 fils. The third quarter financial results were announced following a meeting of the board of directors yesterday.
Across the group, the overall subscriber numbers were down by 6pc year-on-year, mainly as a result of decreases in Batelco Bahrain and Sabafon mobile subscribers due to market pressure.
However, broadband subscriber numbers increased by 16pc year-on-year with particularly strong input from the home market of Bahrain, which has seen a 29pc year-on-year increase in subscribers.
The growth is mainly attributable to the take-up of fibre services which are now widely available across Bahrain, it said.
Overall, Batelco’s key overseas operations performed well at the end of the nine month with 59pc of revenues and 55pc of EBITDA attributable to operations outside of Bahrain.