Qtel profit down 12% in Q1 on Indosat forex losses
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
QATAR Telecom (Qtel) on Sunday posted a 12 percent decline in first-quarter net profit to QR711.4 million ($195.4 million), on foreign exchange losses in the Indonesian unit Indosat.
“Net profit decreased by 12.2 percent in the first quarter to QR0.7 billion compared with QR0.8 billion in the same period last year mainly due to foreign exchange losses in Indosat,” the telecom operator said in a statement on Sunday.
Qtel said its Indonesian subsidiary Indosat has agreed to the sale and leaseback approximately 25 percent of its tower portfolio, for an approximate consideration of $519 million.
According to the financial statement, the telecom operator, however, reported a growth of 7.6 percent in consolidated revenue to QR8 billion in the first quarter of 2012 compared with QR7.5 billion in the same period last year.
Earnings per share in the first quarter stood at QR3.11 compared to QR3.54 in the same period last year. “Earnings per share have been adjusted as a result of the issuance of 20 percent bonus shares in Q1 of 2011 and 30 percent bonus shares in Q1 of 2012,” the company statement added.
At the end of the first quarter, the consolidated customer base of the telco stood at 84.4 million compared to 75.6 million in the same period in 2011.
Commenting on the results, Qtel Group Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al Thani said, “In the first quarter of 2012, we have maintained our reputation for sustainable, profitable growth.
This positive financial performance continues to be driven by the strength of our in-country operations and the commitment of our operational teams.” Qtel Group Chief Executive Officer Nasser Marafih said, “Our revised ‘Drive’ strategy continues to roll out across our operations, ensuring that we remain closely focused on the three key factors that will maintain our growth momentum for the future.” With Qtel focusing on the customer experience as foundations of its business, and investing in growth, the telcom company would hold a leadership position in the data, broadband and connectivity arenas that will be key generators of profits in future years, he said Qtel maintained its customer base in Qatar to end the quarter with 2.4 million customers, while revenue increased by 6.4 percent year-on-year to stand at QR1.5 billion.
On the overseas operations, Qtel said Wataniya Telecom which encompasses the group’s businesses in Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and Palestine experienced a competitive domestic market, but there was customer growth of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, but at the same time a revenue decline of 7.1 percent.
Qtel said last week that it will use cash to pay off debt due this year and doesn’t have any ‘immediate’ refinancing plans.
The company also said last week that shareholders can subscribe to the company’s $1.9 billion rights issue between May 13 and May 24.