Oman Telecommunications Co (Omantel) reported a 12.9 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit, in-line with analysts’ forecasts, as the former monopoly reduced expenses to offset flat revenue growth.
Omantel, majority-owned by the government, made a net profit of OMR29.1 million ($75.58 million) in the three months to March 31, up from OMR25.8 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse statement.
Analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast Omantel would make a quarterly profit of OMR29.2 million.
Quarterly revenue was OMR111.1 million, nearly flat to the OMR111.5 million revenue for the corresponding period of 2011.
Quarterly expenses stood at OMR79.6 million, a 3.6 per cent drop compared with the year-ago period, Omantel said.
In April, Omantel’s chief executive warned falling call tariffs had boosted international calls in Oman, but these cuts could turn into a price war.
Omantel and rival Nawras are in talks with the Gulf Arab state’s regulator to be assigned coveted lower-frequency spectrum to aid surging demand for mobile data.
The state telco has fended off competition from Nawras, majority owned by Qatar Telecom, by hosting mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) including Friendi and Renna.
Omantel shares have lost 0.4 per cent of its value year-to-date on the Muscat bourse.