Kuwait’s Wataniya net profit jumps on local, North African operations

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Kuwait’s National Mobile Telecommunications Co., or Wataniya Telecom, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net profit rose 57% to 38.2 million Kuwaiti dinars from KWD24.3 million a year earlier on a positive performance in its Kuwaiti and North African operations, including Palestine.

The result was higher than the KWD21.3 million forecast of analysts at Kuwait-based Global Investment House and the KWD25.3 million expected by Cairo-based EFG-Hermes. Revenue rose 34% to KWD186.4 million, the company said in a statement.
Wataniya’s total customer base was up 7.4% at 17.8 million at the end of the fourth quarter from a year earlier, the operator added.
“Continued positive results in key operations such as Kuwait, Algeria and Tunisia were also complemented by the performance of Wataniya Mobile Palestine, which achieved positive [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] in 2011 for the first time since launch in 2009,” Wataniya Telecom Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani said in the statement.
In 2011, Wataniya Telecom increased its holding in its Tunisian operation Tunisiana to 75% from 50%. Wataniya Telecom is a unit of Qatar Telecom, or Qtel, the Gulf Arab state’s largest telecom operator