Qatar Telecom reported a 74 per cent rise in quarterly profit after the former monopoly completed a sale and leaseback of towers in Indonesia and domestic revenue increased.
Qtel said on Sunday the going was tougher in Kuwait and Oman where a “competitive environment and the ongoing shift from traditional voice and text to data usage are negatively impacting results.”
The group, which operates in 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a third-quarter net profit of QR1.07 billion ($294 million), on revenue up 6 per cent to 8.63 billion.
In August, Qtel concluded a sale and leaseback agreement worth $406 million with Tower Bersama Infrastructure (TBIG) in Indonesia, a deal that gave a one-off boost to profit, it said.
Domestic revenue for the first nine months of 2012 rose 9.4 per cent to QR4.6 billion, nearly a fifth of the group total. The company had 89.2 million customers at end-September, up 8.2 per cent.
The Group’s ongoing revenue growth was supported by solid performances in Qatar, Iraq, Algeria and Palestine, and a stable performance by Indosat.
Highlights of the period included the launch of 3G services in Tunisia and the launch of a trial phase for 4G LTE in Qatar, a one-off positive impact on profit attributable to Qtel shareholders from the sale of Indosat towers, and the successful retirement of the Group’s $3 billion syndicated term loan.
Commenting on the results, chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said, “The results announced today confirm that the group’s strategy and management is delivering financial performance that keeps us on a positive trajectory.”
“As further evidence of this, we have taken steps during the period to increase our stake in Wataniya Telecom and look forward to building on our achievements in the period and delivering a successful outcome to the year as a whole,” he added.