Kuwait’s Wataniya Q1 jumps 131 pct to record

KUWAIT - National Mobile Telecommunications Co. NMTC.KW (Wataniya), Kuwait’s second mobile phone operator, posted a 131 percent jump in first-quarter profit, its biggest quarterly earnings on record.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sat 21 Apr 2007, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:15 PM

The firm, in which Qatar Telecommunications Co. QTEL.QA (Qtel) bought a majority stake in March, made 25.74 million dinars ($88.90 million) in the three months to March 31, compared with 11.15 million dinars in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement on the bourse Web site.

Earnings per share more than doubled to 56.84 fils in the first three months, from 24.72 fils a year ago. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.

Wataniya did not explain the rise in earnings, which were the highest for a single quarter according to Reuters statistics going back to 2004.

The company’s former Chairman Faisal al-Ayyar told Wataniya’s annual shareholder meeting in March he expected the firm’s net profit to grow by 20-25 percent in 2007.

Wataniya has expanded abroad with mobile phone networks in Iraq, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and the Maldives.

Qtel bought 51 percent of Wataniya from a consortium led by Kuwait Projects Co. KRPO.KW for $3.72 billion in March, the largest-ever Gulf Arab telecom acquisition.

Qtel said earlier this month a court had been asked to shut down Wataniya’s Iraq affiliate, Asiacell Telecommunication Co., which contributed 49.7 million dinars to Wataniya’s net profit in 2006, the single-largest non-Kuwait contributor.

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