Omani Qatari Telecommunications Co SAOG (nawras) on Wednesday said net profit for the first half of 2014 rose 23 per cent, driven by higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), which was partially offset by higher depreciation cost due to network modernisation.
Net profit came in at RO18.7mn for the first six months of this year, compared with RO15.2mn in the same period of 2013.
Total revenues for the first half of 2014 increased by ten per cent to RO108.2mn from RO98.4mn a year ago. The growth was driven by increases in both fixed and mobile data revenues as well as voice revenue offset by decrease in SMS revenue.
Ebitda for the first six months of 2014 stood at RO56.7mn, against RO46.6mn in the corresponding period of 2013. Ebitda growth was driven by higher revenue.
Customer numbers grew by 7.7 per cent to 2,472,497 at the end of the first half of 2014, compared with 2,295,722 for the same period of 2013.
The fixed service customer base grew by nearly 13.4 per cent to 64,192. Year-on-year, the mobile post-paid customer base rose 2.6 per cent to 190,531. The mobile pre-paid customer base increased by eight per cent to 2,217,774.
Commenting on the results, chief executive Greg Young said, “nawras was able to grow revenue during the first half despite the ongoing challenges of the competitive environment. Revenue growth was driven by increases in both mobile and fixed. In mobile, strong increases in data were achieved, with voice also increasing - both stimulated by our innovative consumer offers. The introduction of Shahry (monthly) post-paid plans with data add-ons and smartphone devices greatly contributed to the take-up of data, as did increased inbound roaming. Voice is increasing, driven by our Mousbak International offers for countries such as for Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“In fixed, the positive increase has come largely from B2B. In particular, our government sector revenues had a strong second quarter,” he added..
“Investment in our network continues to underpin revenue performance enabling faster uploads and downloads and better quality of voice. Our turbocharging programming has greatly improved the network experience for customers south of Salalah and inland in the Dakhiliyah governorate. We continue to improve our 3G network northwards to Ibri, Dankh and Buraimi. We launched home broadband over LTE, and our 4G mobile use is growing each quarter. The results are proof of the ongoing hard work and dedication of our employees as they continue to deliver to grow data, strengthen B2B and focus on operational efficiency,” Young said.© Copyright - Muscat Daily