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Gulf Telcos Ooredoo, Wataniya Post Q2 Profit Drops, Nawras Soars

Gulf Telcos Ooredoo, Wataniya Post Q2 Profit Drops, Nawras Soars

Qatar Ooredoo was impacted by the political situation in Iraq and start-up costs for its business in Myanmar.

Qatar’s Ooredoo reported a 11 per cent drop in second-quarter profit on Wednesday as the telecom operator was impacted by the political situation in Iraq and start-up costs for its business in Myanmar.

The former monopoly, which operates in about 15 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of QAR817 million ($224.4 million) in the three months to June 30, down from QAR923 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement.

Two analysts polled by Reuters had forecast Ooredoo would make a quarterly profit of QAR544.2 million and QAR623.3 million respectively.

It is the third quarter in the last four in which Ooredoo has reported declining net profit.

In the three months to June 30, revenue dropped three per cent year-on-year to QAR8.4 billion as strong performances by its businesses in Qatar, Oman and Algeria were overshadowed by lower contributions from Indonesia, Kuwait and Iraq.

Iraq has been suffering from political turmoil in recent months after the Islamic State militant group seized large swathes of the country.

While it did not provide a quarterly breakdown, revenue from its Iraq unit, Asiacell, dropped 9.6 per cent year-on-year to QAR1.6 billion in the second quarter, according to Reuters calculations based on financial statements.

Ooredoo was awarded a licence for Myanmar in February and the firm has paid the first instalment towards this, it said in the statement without elaborating. It plans to commence operations in the Asian nation in the third quarter, it added.

The firm said it had 93.9 million customers across the group at the end of June, up two per cent on the same point of 2013.

WATANIYA

Wataniya, Kuwait’s No.2 telecom operator, reported a 21.3 per cent decline in second-quarter profit as revenue slumped in its home market as well as Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories.

The firm made a net profit of KD18 million ($63.7 million) in the three months to June 30, down from KD22.9 million in the year-earlier period, according to a separate earnings statement to its parent firm.

An analyst at EFG Hermes forecast Wataniya would make a quarterly profit of KD20.19 million.

The decline in profit came despite a year-on-year increase in the second-quarter in revenue – which grew 4.2 per cent to KD196.7 million – and subscribers – whose numbers climbed to 21.6 million from 19.6 million at the end of June 2013.

But the revenue growth hid discrepancies, as while earnings in Algeria grew 22.8 per cent in the first half of the year, it fell away in Tunisia (down 5.3 per cent), the Palestinian Territories (down 4.1 per cent) and in Kuwait (down 19.1 per cent). It did not provide a quarterly breakdown.

Oman’s No.2 telecom operator, Nawras, reported a 32 per cent jump in second-quarter profit as it made more money from both its fixed line and mobile data operations.

The firm made a net profit of OMR9.9 million ($25.7 million) in the three months to June 30, up from OMR7.51 million in the year-earlier period, it said in a bourse filing in Oman.

Nawras had reported declining profits in eight of the previous 10 quarters.

A Gulf Baader Capital Markets analyst forecast Nawras would make a quarterly profit of OMR9.20 million.

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