Batelco group’s net profit for Q1, 2017 was BD8.2 million ($21.8 million); a 14% decline compared to Q1 2016 but up by 58% over the previous quarter. The group attributes the decline to the impact of a BD1.5 million ($4.0 million) share of loss from its associate in Yemen.
For the quarter , the group reported gross revenues of BD 89.7 million ($237.9 million), in line with the prior year, with a marginal 1% decrease YoY and 5% decrease over Q4 2016. Revenues continue to be impacted by competitive pressure in a number of markets across the group. EBITDA for the period was BD32.3 million ($85.7 million), representing a margin of 36%. Despite an 8% decline over Q1 2016, EBITDA increased by 7% from the previous quarter.
The net assets of the group stood at BD525.8 million ($1,394.7 million) and substantial cash and bank balances of BD180.1 million ($477.7 million). Earnings per share for the first quarter of 2017 are 4.9 fils.
Batelco group chairman, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that he was pleased to note a substantial improvement in net profits over the last quarter of 2016. “We continue to be responsive to changes in the various markets we operate in and strive to deliver relevant services and solutions that most suit our customers in each location. Strengthening our digital capabilities remains high on the agenda in a number of the Group’s operations; accordingly we are investing in fibre networks and the development of our digital solutions portfolio,” he added. He further said that the group is focused on playing its part in ensuring that Bahrain is among the best connected countries in the wider region.
Batelco group CEO Ihab Hinnawi said that customers’ needs continue to evolve in line with global trends towards a digital world marked by smart home and smart city living. “This is reflected by growing subscriber numbers for mobility and broadband in a number of our operations, leading to a 2% overall increase in the group’s customer base compared to 2016. It is pleasing to note that Batelco Bahrain posted YoY increases in fixed and broadband customers of 4% and 33% respectively.”
For the period, 59% of revenues and 54% of EBITDA was attributable to operations outside of Bahrain.