Omani Qatari Telecommunications Co. (NWRS), a unit of Qatar Telecom QSC (QTEL), said first-quarter profit fell 19 percent as revenue from text messaging declined.
Net income dropped to 9.8 million rials ($26 million) from 12.1 million rials a year earlier, the company also known as Nawras said in an e-mailed statement today. Revenue declined 2.7 percent to 46.8 million rials.
United Securities LLC forecast a profit of 12.3 million rials, while Gulf Baader Capital Markets SAOC expected 12.2 million rials, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Nawras will roll out its long-term evolution, or LTE, network “at some point this year”, Chief Executive Officer Ross Cormack said in a telephone interview today from Muscat. LTE is a mobile broadband technology that allows for faster data transmission, better voice quality and new mobile phone applications.
“What we are seeing is a tremendous increase in data and substituting data for SMS,” he said, adding the company will upgrade its network over the next two years, declining to provide details on investment.
Customer numbers rose to 1.98 million in the period from 1.94 million in the same quarter last year, helped by increases in fixed-line and prepaid mobile clients.
Shares of Nawras declined 0.2 percent in trading on the Muscat bourse today. The stock fell 8.9 percent this year.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tamara Walid in Abu Dhabi at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at firstname.lastname@example.org