Bloomberg News

Kuwait’s Wataniya Earnings Decline on Currency Exchange

October 26, 2011

(Updates with comment from chairman in third paragraph.)

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- National Mobile Telecommunications Co., the Kuwaiti mobile-phone company controlled by Qatar Telecom, said third-quarter profit fell 13.5 percent mainly because of currency fluctuations in Algeria and Kuwait.

Net income declined to 15.5 million dinars ($56.4 million) from 17.9 million dinars a year earlier, the company, known as Wataniya, said in an e-mailed statement today. Revenue in the three months ended September rose 34 percent to 188 million dinars while customers increased 7.4 percent to 17.4 million.

“Year on year increases in revenue of 13.4 percent in Kuwait and 28.9 percent in Algeria shows that key operations in the group continue to deal effectively with ongoing competitive and market challenges,” Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said in the statement.

Wataniya competes in Kuwait with Mobile Telecommunications Co., the market leader known as Zain, and with Kuwait Telecommunications Co., which operates under the Viva brand. Wataniya also has operations or ventures in Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the Maldives and the Palestinian territories.

Nine-month profit surged to 324 million dinars from 53.7 million dinars last year, the company said. Ebitda gained 44 percent to 79.4 million dinars.

Wataniya shares rose 1 percent to 1,980 fils at the close of trading in Kuwait today, before the results were announced. The stock has gained 4.2 percent this year compared to a 15 percent decline in Kuwait’s benchmark index.

--Editor: Sara Marley

To contact the reporter on this story: Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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